After a drop of very early rain while still dark the early morning sunshine reminds me of just how wonderful this time of year can be, with drops of moisture still glistening in the bright autumn sunshine. So many lovely plants look especially radiant at this time of year; take for example the purple leaved Aeonium whose quite amazing rosette of leaves sparkle in the sunshine.
Hardly less striking is the green leaved Aeonium arboreum (below), whose bright green plate like shape contrasts rather beautifully with the yellow autumn foliage of a pot grown wisteria by the garden entrance.
I always love this particular view of the Lower Lawn (above), and especially so as the autumnal colours begin to appear. There is a softness in the air you just dont get at other times of year.
Big bold foliage plants have always been a favourite and we grow pollarded forms of both the golden bean tree, Catalpa bignoniodes Aurea, and the foxglove tree, Paulownia fargesia, seen in the pictures below. There is nothing difficult about achieving such magnificent foliage from these plants. Simply cut back hard each spring just as the shoots are beginning to break into growth.
The foxglove tree seems to make the biggest leaves and is seen here (below), in a wonderful association with Miscanthus giganteus.
On a slightly smaller scale is a really lovely form of purple moor grass, Molinia caerulea Poul Petersen, which has the reputation for being the most compact cultivar available; and whose myriad flowers, stems and foliage are currently a warming honey brown.
As I walked across to the Gravel Garden the light was just coming through the tree screen and lit up a delicate tracery of grasses such as stipa and eragrostis. You just need to be in the right spot at the right time to enjoy such a free light show everytime the sun comes out!
On the other side of the Gravel our own Pennisetum Dark Desire continues to impress all who see it with its wonderful outline and amazingly large fluffy flowers so enthusiastically produced. It loves sun to do well, as do all fountain grasses.
Further up the garden and into the Four Oaks walk the autumn cyclamen are showing off their amazingly delicate looking flowers. One of the great pleasures I have is to watch this colony gradually increase and work it way down the slope so that each year they have travelled that bit further and put on an even better display. We only need to leave them alone and enjoy their progress.
Another great pleasure of the garden can be to see the unexpected occur such as happened these last few days when this colony of fungi simply apppeared as if by magic one morning. Its known as the dinner plate……..
…………and I think you can see why !