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Jo's News and Views No 10 October 2023

Hello Everyone

Here we are again with more extreme weather on the way. This month it is Storm Ciaran running amok. I am so pleased I have some photos for you featuring some Autumn colour and blue skies as we all need a bit of sunshine in our lives. I think that by the time I visit the garden again the wind and the rain will have stripped the trees bare. So without further ado here is this month's selection.

The Arboretum looked very inviting when I visited recently. The young acers were all shades of red and gold and the leaves of the very large Ash tree, Fraxinus angustifolia, were just beginning to turn red at the very top of the tree, photo 1. Walking towards the house I stopped to enjoy the Gleditsia triacanthos, known as the Honey Locust tree, photo 2. Although this tree has small inconspicuous flowers in Spring, the display of large flattened beans in the Autumn makes up for that. They start off green and then turn black as they ripen, photos 3 and 4.

Moving on to the Front Lawn the Rhus typhina, the Staghorn sumac, was glowing in the sunshine, photo 5. Also here in the border is the Arbutus menziesii, known as the Strawberry tree because of the shape of it's fruit. The tree is now completely covered with small berries, photos 6 and 7.

On the Hollow Lawn is the beautiful Ginkgo biloba, photo 8. The leaves turn a buttery yellow in Autumn but they are still green so they are late this year, photo 9 and 10. I will check it again next month.

In the Kitchen garden the pumpkins had not been harvested so I found several different varieties growing there, photos 10. Also planted here are different varieties of nasturtiums, photos 11 and 12. Such beautiful colours for the Autumn. The succulents have been brought back in to the Glasshouses for the winter, photo 13. They have enjoyed the summer on the wall running along the Tulip Terrace. Also here is this lovely Haemanthus albiflos, known as Paintbrush, photo 14, and this Aeschynanthus 'Hot Flash', photo 15.

Walking along the New River Lawn is the very impressive Zelkova serrata, turning all shades of red for the Autumn, photo 16. Behind this tree is the Wild Garden. Several Rhus typhina, the Staghorn sumac, grow here and they do tend to spread out, photos 17 and 18. Continuing my walk along the New River Lawn I stopped to admire the Cortaderia selloana on the Pond Terrace, known to us all as Pampas grass, photo 19. It looked as though there were three different varieties growing here because the different shape of the plumes but that may be just the different age of the plants. On the other side of the terrace was this Berberis 'Georgei', photo 20 and just beyond the terrace was this Ilex aquifolium, the Holly tree, photo 21. Both heavily ladened with berries ready for the birds to have a feast before the winter sets in. When I was growing up the amount of berries signified how bad the weather was going to be through the Winter but now I think it has more to do with the excessive amount of rain we had this summer. We will have to wait and see if the old saying is still true.

At the side of the house in the Old Conservatory were these two plants worthy of a mention. We have the tall Senna septemtrionalis, known as the Arsenic bush, bearing yellow flowers and the delightful Salvia leucantha, known as the Mexican bush sage bearing purple flowers, photo 22. Then at the back of the house were these Fraxinus angustifolia, Ash trees, who were clothed in their Autumn colours, photo 23. I believe there is a direct correlation between the amount of sunshine the leaves receive in Autumn and the speed in which they change colour as these Ash trees have much more colour than the one in the Arboretum.

Finally my fauna selection is a little poor the month with just the Ringed-necked parakeets. This one kindly sat still but then turned his back on me, photo 24.

I hope you have enjoyed this wander around the garden with me.

Best wishes

Jo



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