In many ways it has been a really wonderful autumn. The weather may not have always been perfect but we have seen some really quite fabulous colours since we started to get some cooler evenings in early October.
Molinia Dauerstrahl for example (above) is now a wonderful warm honey brown that works so beautifully with the pinks and reds of the spindle trees and the mauve of the verbena (below), that is always so popular with late flying bees and butterflies.
Another view taken from the Gravel Garden shows Euonymus Red Cascade (below) in full autumnal dress.
Miscanthus Flamingo is a first class grass, named for its amazing pink pendulous flowers but even once its initial bright flower colour fades (below), the flowers are scarcely less effective.
A view from the Sunny Meadow (below), looking out towards the Mill End borders and Lower lawn shows Molinia Poul Petersen with a taller Molinia arundinacea further back, both in their warm autumn colouring while miscanthus, eupatorium, the golden bean tree and the reddish pink of a cornus complete the scene.
A dainty unassuming tree on the Lower Lawn during the summer, Zelkova serrata (below), takes centre stage in autumn as the leaves turn through bi coloured green and red to finally all red. The unique habit of the slow growing ginko tree (image below the zelkova) turns such a warm butter yellow and hardly drops a single leaf until all its leaves are the same colour. Always a show stopper each autumn!
On the Long Walk the upright Panicum Northwind works beautifully with the rounded compact shapes of the Nandina Firepower (above), while another panicum this time the rather more lax growing Panicum Hanse Herms (below), provides such a warm display of red and orange to yellow that you can almost feel the warmth!
While Stipa gigantea Gold Fontaene is one of the first large grasses to flower in the spring, it produces such a mass of oat like flowers that it remains so very effective well into autumn and winter. Our plants in the Gravel Garden (below), are partnered with the dainty looking pincushion like flowers of Scabiosa ochroleuca that produces simply masses of flowers, and seemingly will go on doing so until the frosts finally prevent it; until next year of course!