Jo's News and Views No 11 November 2023
Autumn turned out to be wet and soggy this year but, thankfully, there was still plenty of colour around.
In the Arboretum I was too late for most of the trees there as all their leaves were on the ground spreading out in all directions creating a very colourful carpet, photo 1. However, all was not lost as I noticed a Liquidambar styraciflua, or Sweet Gum tree near by, photo 2. This is still a young tree and I had not noticed it before. Then I saw another even smaller one nearby so that means I have five of these delightful trees in the garden to enjoy.
In the Honesty bed outside the Courtyard the yuccas were in flower, photo 3 and the evergreen clematis covering the wall at the back is covered in these lovely fluffy seed heads, photo 4. So pretty.
Walking down the path into the garden I was pleased to see that I was in time to catch the Parrotia persica, the Persian ironwood tree, in full Autumn colour, photo 5. In front of the Old Conservatory there was a lovely group of plants including a Kniphofia, red hot poker, and some Nerines, photo 6.
Around the Pond I came to my favourite tree. Well, one of them, as you know I have a very long list of favourites! This Liquidambar styraciflua was looking particularly beautiful, photo 7. It is in the best position to receive full sun so the leaves turn the most amazing shades of red. In contrast to the Liriodendron tulipifera, the Tulip tree, nearby, photo 8. This had turned every shade of yellow and gold. Then we have the Pond and another favourite tree. The Taxodium distichum, the Swamp Cypress, photo 9. I always enjoy the beauty of that extraordinary pop of rust colour amongst the golden hues of the trees around it, photo 10. Also here is another Liquidambar, photo 11. This is in the shadow of the large Holm Oak behind it so the colours are so much slower to show than the other ones in the garden.
On the path down to the Rock Garden is this impressive Metasequoia glyptostroboides, a Dawn Redwood, towering above all the other trees and the leaves have turned a beautiful golden rust colour, photo 12. Along the bank here were some other surprises. There were cyclamens dotted about and all in flower, photos 13 and 14. Then the loveliest surprise of all, this beautiful white snowdrop peeping through the grass enjoying the morning sunshine, photo 15.
Back in the main garden I wandered through the area in the middle. I stopped to admire the Old Enfield Market Cross and the Magnolia tree doing its best to compete with the other trees in the garden, photo 16. In the Sunken Lawn area the Ginkgo biloba tree, also known as the Maidenhair tree, has finally changed into her yellow gown for the Autumn show, photo 18. The leaves are the most amazing shape and turn a beautiful buttery yellow colour in Autumn, photo 18. Of course, the colour depends on how much sunshine there is, as the following week on a somewhat duller day the tree and leaves took on a completely different look, photos 19 and 20. Then basking in the sunshine the Eremurus border, photo 21. The sedums were in full flower providing much needed nectar for the insects around and then at the back is the handsome Arbutus menziesii, the Menzies Strawberry tree, nearly groaning out loud under the weight of all those berries on its branches. More food for the birds and insects this winter.
That just leaves us with the fauna selection this month. Searching for food at the front of the house was this very handsome blackbird, photo 22. Then I came across this squirrel, photo 23, scrambling around in a Holm Oak tree finding provisions for the winter. Finally in the same Holm Oak at the back of Tom Tiddlers Ground were about 6 to 8 Jays all enjoying the feast of acorns on the branches. In photo 24 the Jay is looking up because an acorn had just landed on its head. It was dropped by its mates higher up in the tree, photos 25 and 26. They were all very busy eating and collecting nuts so did not take any notice of me watching them for a while.
I hope you have enjoyed this wander around the garden with me.