Aiming for an all year round garden – our garden in November

The penultimate posting in my monthly look at how well our Avocet garden is looking is already here. We are aiming for an all year round garden so we hope this series will help us check up on how we are progressing. The first week of November has been so changeable with bright, mild days, windy chilly days, nights with near freezing temperatures and cloudy dull days. We can still get in the garden to potter but we have to be ready to grasp any opportunity.

As usual we shall begin our tour by the gateway at the end of the drive and take a glance into the garden where it borders the lane. Our newly planted boxes are now well-established. From the lane berries dominate in the shrubs and trees and below them leaf textures capture our interest.

2014 11 06_7220 2014 11 06_7221 2014 11 06_7222 2014 11 06_7223 2014 11 06_7224 2014 11 06_7225 2014 11 06_7226 2014 11 06_7227

The Beth Chatto garden lights up in the low autumn light and makes the Tulbaghia and Verbena flowers glow.

2014 11 06_7228 2014 11 06_7229

Leaves have been stripped from many of the shrubs and trees leaving skeletons of coloured stems and seed heads above grasses and coloured foliage of evergreen perennials. Fungi on the lawn are definite sign of the season.

2014 11 06_7230 2014 11 06_7231 2014 11 06_7233 2014 11 06_7234 2014 11 06_7235 2014 11 06_72362014 11 06_7237 2014 11 06_7238 2014 11 06_7239 2014 11 06_7240

The most colourful tree must be the Liquidamber. With luck it will keep its leaves until the new year.

2014 11 06_7232

As we pass the shed on the way into the back garden this little alpine Erodium catches the eye. But it is the much more fiery colours that draw us in for a closer look as we turn the corner and see the Shed Bed. The bright yellow petals of the Welsh Poppy, Meconopsis cambrica bring out the palest hues in the palmate leaves of the Ricine Plant, Ricinus cambriensis. The Ricinus is such a garden worthy annual, interesting in every possible way. Flowers, fruit, buds, leaves and stems. The heavily textured leaves begin life orange and metamorphose into the deepest bronze through every shade of red.

2014 11 06_7242 2014 11 06_7243 2014 11 06_7244 2014 11 06_7245

In the Tropical Border the white flowers show up well against the Persicaris  deep purple foliage. By the pond in the Rill Garden the seedheads of this Clematis are just as white. Walking down the central pathway there are plenty of out of season blooms to spot. Rosa Teasing Georgia clambers over the arch with late flowering Sweet Peas and alongside the path an orange flowered Primula which is normally a late spring flowerer is performing now. In a pot alongside the path a Dahlia has produced a very late and very pink bloom.

2014 11 06_7246 2014 11 06_72472014 11 06_7248 2014 11 06_72492014 11 06_7260 2014 11 06_7259

Throughout the borders to the left of the central path grasses put on a strong performance in the autumn light. The cerise of the Lychnis coronaria looks brighter than ever. It has been in flower for months now.

2014 11 06_7250 2014 11 06_7251 2014 11 06_7252 2014 11 06_7253 2014 11 06_7254 2014 11 06_7256

2014 11 06_7257 2014 11 06_7258

Moving across the central path we can see the Chicken Garden and the Secret Garden, where there are still plenty of flowers to put on a colourful show.

2014 11 06_7261 2014 11 06_7262 2014 11 06_7263 2014 11 06_7264 2014 11 06_7265 2014 11 06_7266

When we take the path alongside the Spring Garden it is the fruit and berries that give extra interest for ourselves and for the Blackbirds and Thrushes. The Blackbirds seem intent in finishing off the Crataegus berries. The yellow berries of the Cotoneaster rothschildiana will last much longer. They are low on their list of favourites.

2014 11 06_7267 2014 11 06_7268 2014 11 06_7269 2014 11 06_7270 2014 11 06_7271 2014 11 06_7272 2014 11 06_7273 2014 11 06_7274

I shall finish my November look at our garden with these two photos both featuring yellow. On the left a very out of season Oxlip is flowering strongly while on the left the last of the Gazanias has dropped its petals to reveal a brightly coloured central boss. Next month I shall be considering our Avocet garden in December and my look at the garden in 2014 will have come full circle.

2014 11 06_7275 2014 11 06_7276

 

Posted in autumn, autumn colours, climbing plants, colours, garden design, garden photography, gardening, grasses, hardy perennials, light, light quality, ornamental grasses, ornamental trees and shrubs, roses, Shropshire | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Haworth – Village of the Brontes – Part Two

Welcome back to Haworth, the village of the Brontes, where you find us just about to enter the church, in whose parsonage the family of writers lived. As we walked the gently sloping roadway to the church and parsonage we passed another interesting, eccentric shop. Haworth seemed to attract such places. The church itself was a tall, bulky building and very imposing – not an attractive building at all. But visitors are attracted to it for its Bronte links.

2014 11 01_7055 2014 11 01_7062 2014 11 01_70822014 11 01_7120 2014 11 01_7117

Throughout the church interior we discovered links with the Brontes, which was not always easy in the gloomy interior. Light is always strange inside churches and you feel uncomfortable using a flash. Check out these plaques, old photos and documents.

2014 11 01_7118 2014 11 01_71192014 11 01_7113 2014 11 01_7115

2014 11 01_7111 2014 11 01_7112

2014 11 01_7114 2014 11 01_7116

 

Almost opposite the church was the school in which Charlotte Bronte taught. It was a very short journey to work!

2014 11 01_7063 2014 11 01_7064

The tall stone wall surrounding the churchyard was covered in mosses. Close up some patches looked like pictures of earth from the air.

2014 11 01_7065 2014 11 01_7066 2014 11 01_7067

The parsonage frontage looks straight at the church and was built on a high piece of land so looked most imposing.

2014 11 01_7070 2014 11 01_7083

2014 11 01_7068 2014 11 01_7069

Beyond the Parsonage a narrow footpath took us up to the edge of the moors which influenced so much of the Bronte family writings. Styles and gateways on this track were extremely narrow and walkers had to squeeze through. They were also of strange designs which we had never seen before. The walls alongside the track as it passed the last few village dwellings presented me with the chance to take a few texture shots. In places the path was made of flat stones sunk into the grass.

2014 11 01_7071 2014 11 01_7074 2014 11 01_7077 2014 11 01_7078  2014 11 01_7080 2014 11 01_7081

2014 11 01_7079

We returned to the village centre and took the gentle stroll down the Main Street, with its eclectic mix of shops many displaying art and crafts. We soon discovered we were visiting soon after the village had celebrated the day the Tour de France cycle race came and the day after it had celebrated Halloween. Spot the recycled cycles and the spooky happenings.

2014 11 01_7092 2014 11 01_7085

2014 11 01_7090 2014 11 01_7095

2014 11 01_7094 2014 11 01_7093  2014 11 01_7091 2014 11 01_7089 2014 11 01_7088 2014 11 01_7087 2014 11 01_7086 2014 11 01_7096

2014 11 01_7098 2014 11 01_7097 2014 11 01_7099 2014 11 01_7100 2014 11 01_7101 2014 11 01_7102 2014 11 01_7103 2014 11 01_7104 2014 11 01_7105 2014 11 01_7106

2014 11 01_7107 2014 11 01_7108 2014 11 01_7109

As we left the village to start our long journey home we made a diversion over the moors to take a short wander in the footsteps of the Bronte family. It was easy to see how its isolation and atmosphere provided such inspiration.

2014 11 01_7121 2014 11 01_7122 2014 11 01_7124 2014 11 01_7126 2014 11 01_7127 2014 11 01_7128

 

Posted in photography, townscapes, architecture, buildings, Yorkshire, recycling | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Haworth – Village of the Brontes – Part One

We spent a midweek break in Yorkshire this autumn, combining a return visit to the RHS Garden Harlow Carr, with a return to Saltaire and a first visit to the village of the Brontes, Haworth. A busy few days full of interest, enjoyment and variety.

First I shall share with you our visit to Haworth a village up on the moors of Yorkshire. The village and the moors are closely linked to the well-known and much loved family of writers, the Brontes. We found the village after miles of travelling high in the moorland on roads with regular steep climbs and descents. The road began to drop steeply as we approached the village and signposts indicated a car park on the edge of the village. We parked up in a car park hidden in woodland and from there a footpath took us into the very heart of the village.

Haworth is a beautiful place! A village with a strong community feel to it and a centre for creativity where many artists and craftspersons live, work and display their work. To add to the enjoyment of Haworth we discovered that Halloween was due to be celebrated fully. We also discovered that the village has some most excellent coffee houses!

The path took us down below the village’s allotments where the hens entertained us with their contented clucking as we passed unnoticed. We passed the back of the church and entered the very heart of the village, the Square.

2014 11 01_7019 2014 11 01_70182014 11 01_7020 2014 11 01_7022

Small businesses clustered around the Square welcoming visitors. You can see how the street drops steeply away from the Square. We decided that the number of coffee shops reflected the steepness of this hill – visitors need lots of places to stop and rest!

2014 11 01_7023 2014 11 01_70242014 11 01_7025 2014 11 01_7026

We soon realised that this village had a real sense of community feeling accompanied by an equal sense of pride with a gentle humour running through. Just look at the path gardens under the front windows of these cottages complete with seats. A great place to share your thoughts with neighbours, greet visitors with a friendly smile and watch the life of the village going by. Nearby this little humorous figure enjoyed life in another front garden.

2014 11 01_7027 2014 11 01_70282014 11 01_7044

There were frequent reminders too of the place that the Brontes hold in the hearts of the villagers.

2014 11 01_7030

We followed part of the village trail that encompassed the places most relevant to the life of the Bronte family. We had to walk to the edge of the village to find the starting point where we began with a look at the Sun Inn where in the mid-19th century turn pike tolls would have been collected, and then close by we found the schoolroom which was linked to the West Lane Methodist Chapel which has since been demolished. Behind this schoolroom, which is now the meeting place for the Methodist congregation, we found the old graveyard which afforded wide spreading views over the valley.

2014 11 01_7032 2014 11 01_70312014 11 01_7033 2014 11 01_7034

Close by was the rival West Lane Baptist Chapel which had an extensive school room added at the rear. It seemed amazing that this little village huddled in a valley bottom supported several chapels and a church. It reflects the life style of the time, when employers expected their workers to attend their chosen place of worship in order to keep their jobs. Some believed it would keep them out of the inns and public houses.

The second photo below shows a strange arrangement of old gate post ornamentation now displayed atop a garden wall.

2014 11 01_7035 2014 11 01_7037

A short walk down the street back towards the heart of the village we found this beautiful and very old building, Townend Farm with its attached barn. These were built in the 17th century but still retained much of the original features including the most beautiful windows.

2014 11 01_7040 2014 11 01_7038 2014 11 01_7039 2014 11 01_7042

We next found a row of back-to-back workers cottages, and we could tell from the relatively large area of upstairs windows that some sort of weaving must have gone on here. The terraces also had basement dwellings below the street level.

2014 11 01_7043 2014 11 01_7045 2014 11 01_7046

The trail leaflet took us back to the centre where we stopped to look at the interesting array of shops. The Tourist Information Centre was housed in this strange thin building squeezed in a small space between two streets as they merged. The building has a short tower and pyramidal roof which was added when it changed from being the “Mechanics’ Institute” to the “Yorkshire Penny Bank”. The square here sits at the base of the wide steps leading up to the church. The village stocks are still in place outside what were once the post office and a temperance hotel. This teetotal hotel was supported by Patrick Bronte whereas rather ironically Branwell Bronte preferred the building opposite, The Old White Lion Inn.

2014 11 01_7055 2014 11 01_7047

2014 11 01_7048 2014 11 01_7049 2014 11 01_7050 2014 11 01_7052

2014 11 01_7051  2014 11 01_7053 2014 11 01_7054  2014 11 01_7057 2014 11 01_7058 2014 11 01_7059

The Main Street led us out of the square as it dropped away steeply. We took a detour to the church before embarking on the downhill climb to discover the delights of that street. Part 2 of my Bronte posts will see us visiting the church and the Main Street.

2014 11 01_7056

 

Posted in architecture, buildings, Church architecture, photography, Yorkshire | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

A Garden in October/November – Trentham

We have now reached the penultimate posting in this series where we have been looking at how Trentham Gardens in Staffordshire have changed through the months during 2014. Since our last visit in September Autumn has taken a strong grip on the gardens. Many leaves have taken on their auutmn hues and many have fallen. But it is amazing how much colour there still is to enjoy, colours in late flowers, dried stems and seed heads.

2014 11 04_7144 2014 11 04_7154 2014 11 04_7153 2014 11 04_7167 2014 11 04_7182

We always cross over the gently arching suspension footbridge over the River Trent full of anticipation. On our visit in early November we were presented with a sea of yellows, where Piet Oudolf’s River of Grasses had been transformed by the passage of time into a river of liquid gold.

2014 11 04_7143 2014 11 04_7144 2014 11 04_7145 2014 11 04_7146 2014 11 04_7147 2014 11 04_7148 2014 11 04_7149

We wandered along the gravel path as it cut through the line of River Birch, Betula nigra in search of Oudolf’s prairie borders. These beautiful trees had already shed all their leaves but still drew our eyes as their bark was peeling and curling decoratively away from their trunks.

2014 11 04_7150

Once in amongst the prairie planting we immediately noticed that seed heads in every hue of brown and beige and bright patches of late colour had joined the lemons, mustards and golds of the grasses. Pale purples glowed in the dull light of autumn. This glow is their secret weapon to attract moths and other night flying pollinators.

2014 11 04_7151 2014 11 04_7152 2014 11 04_7153 2014 11 04_7154

The gardening team were hard at working replanting a section of one of the borders. It must be a never ending task. I suppose it gives them the chance to keep improving things as well as keeping the gardens in top condition.

2014 11 04_7155 2014 11 04_7156

Deep pinks and cerise of the Persicarias and the Knautias catch the eye of every visitor. They look so good against the neutral shades that dominate gardens in the autumn.

2014 11 04_7157 2014 11 04_7158 2014 11 04_7159 2014 11 04_7160 2014 11 04_7161 2014 11 04_7162 2014 11 04_7164 2014 11 04_7166

2014 11 04_7165  2014 11 04_7167 2014 11 04_7168 2014 11 04_7169 2014 11 04_7171 2014 11 04_7172 2014 11 04_7173  2014 11 04_7174

This lovely old Tulip Tree caught our attention. It is the oldest of its kind we have ever seen and a notice close by warned of the danger of falling branches. It must be susceptible to winter storms but should it fall it would make a wonderful natural bridge over the Trent. The dome of Hornbeam over a bench is now a golden dome.

2014 11 04_7170 2014 11 04_7175

We made our way towards the formally planted Italian Parterre Garden, passing through an archway of Hornbeams on the way. Sunlight penetrated the coniferous plantings casting long shadows and creating bright patches. It lit up the little low box hedges of the  knot garden.

2014 11 04_7176 2014 11 04_7177

The summer bedding in the parterre has been consigned to the compost heaps and winter/spring plants has taken their place, primulas and a deep red Bellis perennis.

2014 11 04_7178 2014 11 04_7179 2014 11 04_7180 2014 11 04_7181

We always enjoy our first look out over the Tom Stuart-Smith gardens. We were not to be disappointed today.

2014 11 04_7182 2014 11 04_7183 2014 11 04_7184 2014 11 04_7185 2014 11 04_7186 2014 11 04_7187

The autumn light emphasised the texture on this bronze sculpture and on the much newer tunnel archway which marks the way into the display gardens. It gave an all new look to the low slate walls around one of these gardens too. It again emphasised the texture but brought out extra colours too. The light similarly added colour to the plants and to the glass panels featured in another of the display gardens.

2014 11 04_7188 2014 11 04_7189 2014 11 04_7190 2014 11 04_7191 2014 11 04_7192 2014 11 04_7194 2014 11 04_7195 2014 11 04_7196 2014 11 04_7197 2014 11 04_7198 2014 11 04_71992014 11 04_7200 2014 11 04_7201

A wander back through the Stuart-Smith gardens gave us the chance to see the planting in a different light. As the afternoon had progressed the sun dropped down lower and was back-lighting the plants, giving a very different perspective.

 

 

2014 11 04_7202 2014 11 04_7203 2014 11 04_7204 2014 11 04_7205

The Rose Walk was still remarkably colourful with Roses, Cleomes and Verbena bonariensis still putting on strong performances. Butterflies and bees were still busy here too, the blooms having attracted them as they emerged hunting for sustenance as the temperatures rose slightly in the afternoon sunlight. You can see our long shadows cast across the border.

2014 11 04_7207 2014 11 04_72082014 11 04_7210 2014 11 04_7217

 

From the long metal pergola we looked back over the Oudolf gardens and at the shrubs nearby and the butter yellow leaves of the Wisteria climbing over the framework.

2014 11 04_7211 2014 11 04_7212 2014 11 04_7213 2014 11 04_7215 2014 11 04_7218 2014 11 04_7219

 

Now we can look forward to our final visit to Trentham for this year in readiness to publish the final episode in this series of posts. So far we have determined that gardens at Trentham are worthy of a visit any month of the year. Let us hope our December visit confirms it.

 

Posted in autumn, autumn colours, climbing plants, colours, garden design, garden designers, garden photography, gardening, gardens, gardens open to the public, grasses, hardy perennials, Italian style gardens, light, light quality, ornamental grasses, ornamental trees and shrubs, outdoor sculpture, Piet Oudolf, sculpture, Staffordshire, Tom Stuart-Smith, trees | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Queenswood Arboretum – Part Three – the Redwoods

As we left the Oak Avenue behind and after we had enjoyed a quick look at the small Betula collection, we made our way slowly back to the car park. The sky began to get darker and drizzle began to fall. In the first shot included here you can see the bright autumn colours of the Birches through the line of huge pines. Many of them were small and still strongly guarded from the gnawing of the resident deer flock. I have also included a photo of one of the excellent, informative labels which is a great feature of this arboretum.

2014 10 23_6261

2014 10 23_6255 2014 10 23_6258 2014 10 23_6259 2014 10 23_62622014 10 23_6264 2014 10 23_6265

As the drizzle intensified we found some shelter under the older taller trees. We are not fans of conifers but we found this one fascinating with its long drooping needles. Pinus patula, better known as the Spreading Leaf Pine. Close by the strange but utterly beautiful cerise-flowered Euonymous europaeus glowed in the dull light.

2014 10 23_6266 2014 10 23_6267 2014 10 23_6269 2014 10 23_6270 2014 10 23_6271 2014 10 23_6272

Felled tree trunks afford the weary wanderer a resting place and wildlife a place to search for food. The cut ends revealed the ages of the trees when they were felled, the number of rings now exposed by the chainsaw give away its secrets.

2014 10 23_6275 2014 10 23_6274

We continued to come across interesting Acers such as this Red Snake-Bark Maple, Acer capillipes and we passed many other fascinating specimen trees on our way to the stand of Redwoods.

2014 10 23_6276 2014 10 23_6278 2014 10 23_6279 2014 10 23_6280  2014 10 23_6282

We were fascinated by the fruits of the Oriental Hornbeam and the Handkerchief Tree, Davidii involucrata. These two special trees were both fine specimens.

2014 10 23_6284 2014 10 23_6285 2014 10 23_6287 2014 10 23_6291

2014 10 23_6293 2014 10 23_6292

We followed the path as it dipped beneath the branches of the Handkerchief Tree and found ourselves in a different world, a darker world where light failed to penetrate. This meant that nothing grew beneath these Redwoods, giants of the tree world. We walked on a deep soft carpet of needles. The needles were gingery orange and seemed to glow in the gloom.

2014 10 23_6281    2014 10 23_62952014 10 23_6294  2014 10 23_6296 2014 10 23_6298 2014 10 23_6299

A drainage ditch cut through the Redwoods. It must have recently flooded badly and eroded away soil exposing the roots of trees growing alongside on its banks. Some creative visitors had found a way across by using some ingenuity and creativity – they had built a bridge from branches.

2014 10 23_6301 2014 10 23_6302 

Below are two pictures showing some unusual wildlife living beneath the Redwoods, on the left a mother bear searching for her youngster climbing a nearby tree and on the right a very rare Tree Hugging Jude the Undergardener.

2014 10 23_6300 2014 10 23_6297

After exploring the dark world under the Redwoods we were glad to get back into daylight. Even though drizzle continued to fall and grey skies hung heavy it seemed so much brighter under the deciduous trees. The final Acer we passed looked as if it was on fire. A fitting finale to our day at Queenswood. As I always write when we have discovered a new exciting place to visit, “We will definitely be back!”

2014 10 23_6303

So that is Queenswood, 64 acres of wonderful trees from all over the world. Follow any of its waymarked trails and you will discover such a huge variety of trees, varying in size, growth habit, leaf shape, bark texture with some bearing flowers followed by berries, seeds or nuts. The bird life keeps you entertained too, singing and calling in the tree tops and undergrowth and flitting from tree to tree seeking out this vast array of food. Throughout our walk Ravens cronked overhead in unison with the gentler mewling of Buzzards. Whenever you visit there will be birds to entertain you and trees to delight the eye.

 

 

 

Posted in arboreta, autumn, autumn colours, colours, light, light quality, ornamental trees and shrubs, outdoor sculpture, trees, woodland, woodlands | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Queenswood Arboretum – Part Two – the Oaks

Having enjoyed the Autumn Garden we found a sign indicating a footpath to an “Old Orchard” and the “Readers Chair” which naturally took us in the opposite direction to our planned route. Diversions are good for you! Just see what we found by following this one!

2014 10 23_6208

We followed the path beneath tall slender trees and found an orchard of ancient fruit trees.

2014 10 23_6186 2014 10 23_6187 2014 10 23_6188 2014 10 23_6189 2014 10 23_6190 2014 10 23_6191 2014 10 23_6192 2014 10 23_6193

When we reached the centre of the old orchard with its sweet scent of rotting apples and fallen leaves we found out what the Reader’s Seat was. It was really a large piece of outdoor sculpture which was also a seat. I imagine the wood it was constructed from was oak as it was weathering to the most beautiful and palest of silver. The carvings were so beautifully sculpted into each face of the uprights which made up the canopy over the circle of seats.

2014 10 23_6194 2014 10 23_6202

2014 10 23_6205  2014 10 23_6196 2014 10 23_6198 2014 10 23_6195 2014 10 23_6197 2014 10 23_6198

We sat a while appreciating the craftsmanship of the seat with its carvings before exploring further the old orchard itself.

2014 10 23_6199 2014 10 23_6200 2014 10 23_6201 2014 10 23_6203 2014 10 23_6204 2014 10 23_6207

But where we we headed before the wooden sign post persuaded us to search for the Old Orchard and Reader’s Seat? We were off to find the Oak Avenue. We expected this to be a shaded walk between tow tall rows of ancient native oaks. How wrong we were! What we actually found was a small field with two rows of oaks from all over the world. Tall ones, short ones, fat ones, thin ones and even a shrub like one. There seemed to be an Oak from every corner of the world. But to get there we wandered through Cotterill’s Folly where huge Beech trees towered over the path and covered that path with their waxy tough leaves.

2014 10 23_6218 2014 10 23_6219

2014 10 23_6251  2014 10 23_6228

Our first oak surprise was this narrow-leaved tree with slightly pendulous branches, aptly called the Willow-leaved Oak. Its foliage looked so fresh and full of vitality, which was in stark contrast to the Armenian Oak we looked at next. This oak had large leathery leaves already coloured for autumn.

2014 10 23_6221 2014 10 23_6222 2014 10 23_6223 2014 10 23_6224 2014 10 23_6226 2014 10 23_6227

Our next oak was a small tree with leaves like those of a Sweet Chestnut.

2014 10 23_6229 2014 10 23_6230

One thing that all oaks attract is lichen and we soon found this stunning glaucous example shaped just like stags antlers.

2014 10 23_6231

Our next Oak looked just like an Olive tree – it was just the right size and shape with glaucous leaves just like those of an Olive. But when we got closer and noticed its bark we knew straight away it was some sort of a Cork Oak. The label informed us that it was a Quercus variabilis, a Chinese Cork Oak.

2014 10 23_6233 2014 10 23_6234

We were so surprised to see the next of our Oaks as it was just four or five feet tall, a small shrub rather than a majestic old tree. Nuttall’s Oak, Quercus texana surprised us again when we noticed its beautifully shaped leaves, somewhat reminiscent of a Liquidamber.

2014 10 23_6235 2014 10 23_6237

Close by we found another shrubby Oak but this one had a different growth habit. It was a solid looking bush with simple leathery foliage. This was a Bamboo Leaved Oak – very well named.

2014 10 23_6238 2014 10 23_6239

This old Cork Oak had died but in death presented itself as a piece of textured sculpture. But it did frame another autumn coloured Oak on the far side of the green area.

2014 10 23_6241 2014 10 23_6242 2014 10 23_6243

This neat small specimen on the left was an Algerian Oak and the equally neat one on the right was a Shumard’s Oak.

2014 10 23_6244 2014 10 23_6248

After enjoying discovering so many different oaks most of them new to us, we began to make our way back to the car park. We passed a Wild Service Tree one of our rarest native trees before moving on through a little plantation of Betulas and made our way towards a stand of Redwoods.

2014 10 23_6252

To share this last leg of our wander around Queenswood Arboretum just look at the third post in this series.

 

 

 

 

Posted in arboreta, autumn, autumn colours, colours, garden furniture, garden seating, light, ornamental trees and shrubs, outdoor sculpture, trees, woodland, woodlands | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Queenswood Arboretum – Part 1 – the Acers

Late October heralds arboretum visiting time. Last year we visited Bodenham and Arley which we take a trip to most years but we also traveled a little further afield into Cheshire to the Jodrell Bank Arboretum and the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire. Over the last five years we have also taken trips to Westonbirt in Gloucestershire, Bluebell Arboretum in Derbyshire.

But there is one closer to us, in fact just an hour away across into Herefordshire, which we have never visited but were reminded of  as we watched Carol Klein visit it on the Gardeners World TV programme. So we made up our mind that our first arboretum visit this autumn would be to Queenswood Country Park and Arboretum. It was worth the wait! Come with us as we explore its delights on a dull overcast day occasionally dampened with bouts of drizzle.

We left the car park to follow Lime Avenue which would take us to the Autumn Garden which promised us a painter’s pallet of Acers. There is something special about the gentle scent of woodlands in autumn, comforting and warming, but this was interrupted by the more aggressive unpleasant odour of foxes whose tracks crossed ours periodically as we climbed the gentle slope below the huge limes towering above us. We diverted often! There were interesting trees grabbing our attention every few yards, making progress slow. Tree silhouettes, bark textures, leaf colours, leaf shapes – all there to distract and attract.

The trees had plenty of autumnal features to attract and distract tree lovers such as Jude the Undergardener and I. Berries, peeling bark, silvered leaves, brightly coloured leaves, black branch silhouettes ……………….

2014 10 23_6107 2014 10 23_6114

2014 10 23_6110 2014 10 23_6109 2014 10 23_6108 2014 10 23_6111 2014 10 23_6113 2014 10 23_6112 2014 10 23_6115

When we reached the area called the “Autumn Garden” we were blown away by the collection of Acers with their striped barks, their red and yellow leaves and their sculptural trunks curling away below their leaf canopy. Part way through the Autumn Garden we found this plaque on the “Dendrology Stone” which was presented to Queenswood Arboretum in 1981 by the International Dendrology Society recognising the quality of its young trees, layout and public access. There only 19 arboretum worldwide which have received this award. This emphasises just how important this 47 acres of country park actually is.

2014 10 23_6209 2014 10 23_6163

2014 10 23_6116 2014 10 23_6117 2014 10 23_6118

But there was far more to see here with trees and shrubs to discover around every corner.

2014 10 23_6120 2014 10 23_6119 2014 10 23_6125 2014 10 23_6124 2014 10 23_6123 2014 10 23_6122 2014 10 23_6121 2014 10 23_61262014 10 23_6127 2014 10 23_6128 2014 10 23_6129 2014 10 23_6130 2014 10 23_6131 2014 10 23_6132 2014 10 23_6133 2014 10 23_6134

But let us enjoy a journey around the delights of the Acers before we get distracted further.

2014 10 23_6136 2014 10 23_6137 2014 10 23_6138 2014 10 23_6139 2014 10 23_6142 2014 10 23_6141 2014 10 23_6140 2014 10 23_6143 2014 10 23_6144 2014 10 23_6145 2014 10 23_6147 2014 10 23_6146 2014 10 23_6150 2014 10 23_6149

We enjoyed a well deserved coffee break on one of the many benches we found within the glade of Acers with a wonderful view. We sat to enjoy our coffee and listened to the Woodpeckers and Nuthatches in the tree canopy. Jays entertained us collecting up acorns, beech mast and sweet chestnuts. This is the view from the seat we chose to take our coffee break sat on. How good is that!

2014 10 23_6119

In part two we shall be seeking out an old orchard and the “Reader’s Seat”.

 

Posted in arboreta, autumn, autumn colours, birds, colours, light quality, ornamental trees and shrubs, trees, woodland, woodlands | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,