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Jo's November News and Views

Hello Everyone

Here we go again! In lockdown and concerned about the future and whether or not we will be able to celebrate Christmas with our family and friends. Well, let me take your mind off the problems of the world for a moment by taking you on a trip around the garden to enjoy the Autumn delights that have been on show this month.

The car park seems to have become a favourite place for me this year as without all the cars I have been able to enjoy the trees and hedges there. The autumn colour in the beech hedges surrounding the car park has been wonderful this year, photo 1. It was a sort of 'stop and stare moment' just to take it all in. The different colours of the leaves were amazing, photo 2.

Walking into the garden the Zelkova serrata frames the view of Tom Tiddlers Ground beautifully, photo 3. Nearby the Parrotia persica, the Persian Ironwood, is showing off its autumn colours, photo 4 and the tiny red flowers that appear in late autumn/winter are just starting to appear, photo 5. On the opposite side of the pathway the view of the Juglans nigra, the Black Walnut tree, on the Front Lawn is framed by the Corylus avellana 'Contorta', the Corkscrew hazel, the Hamamelis, known as Witch Hazel and the Berberis 'Georgei', photo 6. Just around the corner on the edge of Bowling Green Lawn is this lovely Calocedrus decurrens, known as California Incense Cedar or Incense-Cedar, photo 7. When the sun burst through the clouds the tree just lit up as though someone had flicked a switch somewhere. On the other side of the hedge is the Wisley Corner. This was also full of colour with the Sorbus 'Wisley Gold' and some late blooms on the Rosa Wisley 2008 (Ausbreeze), photo 8.

Across the pathway the sunlight coming through the vine on the pergola caught my eye. Vitis vinifera 'Purpurea', a Teinturier grape always puts on a good show through Autumn, photo 9. On the other side of the George III bed was this Arbutus unedo f. rubra, the Pink Strawberry tree, photo 10. This is a large bushy evergreen shrub that has rosy pink flowers in spring then these large strawberry like fruits in Autumn, photo 11. Walking back to Bowling Green Lawn I realised there was another Strawberry tree there. This time it was Arbutus menziesii, Menzies Strawberry tree, photo 12. This is a medium sized evergreen tree that has small bell shaped creamy white or pink flowers in spring followed by small strawberry like fruits in Autumn, photo 13.

Moving onto the Hollow Lawn area I caught the leaves of the Ginkgo biloba tree in the sunshine, photo 14, dancing like yellow butterflies waiting to be released. Well, they didn't have to wait long because the wind and the rain soon brought them all down to earth, photo 15.

Next is the Kitchen Garden and the Nerine bowdenii, photo 16. They love this sheltered, sunny spot at the base of the Peach House wall. On the other side of the Glasshouses in the Cut Flower bed the Aconitums were still flowering, photo 17. My apologies to Steph because I did refer to them as delphiniums last month but 'eagle-eyed' Jill Kidger corrected me. Thank you, Jill. This plant has many other common names, one of which is Monkshood, hopefully you can see why, photo 18.

Leaving the Kitchen Garden I made my way to the Rock Garden. On the way I saw this snowdrop, photo 19. The only one there at the moment but I'm sure there are more on their way. On the hosta bank the Liriope muscari were flowering, photo 20. Then walking back along the path I stopped to admire the colours in the Redwood tree and the small Magnolia tree, photo 21.

On the lawn near the Pond Terrace is this beautiful Liquidambar styraciflua or Sweet Gum tree, photo 22. The colour on this has been extraordinary this year so different to its older counterpart on the other side of the pond which is mostly in the shade of the bigger trees nearby, photo 23. Perhaps being in the shade makes a huge difference? I can not leave the pond without giving my favourites a mention. Yes, the Taxodium distichum or Swamp Cypress as I know them. The smaller one looked lovely here with the sun streaming through the branches, photo 24. The older one which is in a more stand alone position looked magnificent, photo 25. Then the two of them make a very pretty picture, photo 26. Then walking back across the front of the house I noticed this lovely Yucca framing the clock tower, photo 27.

Now for the fauna selection. First up enjoying the halcyon days earlier in November were these two Jackdaws who were just watching the world go by, photo 28. There are quite a lot of them around the garden these days. Then the Parakeets are back in large numbers. Here's two of them in the car park, photo 29. They may be a pretty bird but they are not really welcome in the garden as they just pick off the new shoots on everything causing a lot of damage Also, in the car park was this beautiful bird, a Jay, photo 30. I've seen a pair of them flying around the garden but they are very shy birds and not seen out in the open very often. They love acorns so maybe that's why it was foraging in the car park near the large Oak tree.

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

Best Wishes



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