Back to Derbyshire and we shall continue our beautiful autumnal wanderings within the grounds of Bluebell Arboretum and Nursery. I shall concentrate on a selection of the true favourites we enjoyed most of all. The beauty of this arboretum is that there is so much to discover and enjoy that our favourites would be different each time we visit.
We start again just as we discovered a couple of different Hawthorns which is always interesting as most nurseries sell only the common native as a hedge plant and the double pink ornamental tree form. We enjoyed discovering the unusual Crataegus tanacetifolia, the Tansy Leaved Thorn and the rare Crataegus ellwangeriana “Fireball”. It is amazing how the leaf shapes differ as do the berry colours.
Now I will share two very different trees worth growing for their bark colours, patterns and textures, on the left Betula utilis “Grayswood Ghost” and in the centre and on the right Acer davidii “Cascade”. This selection of snakebark maple has a beautiful delicately weeping habit.
This next specimen had me foxed and I had to go in search of a label. Although it is a Lime the leaves were the size of a Catalpa but the label informed us it was Tilia carolina subs. heterophylla.
We were attracted to the autumn foliage colour of this Tulip Tree, so crisp and bright on a dull day. It is Lirodendron tulipifera “Arnold” a tree we had never seen before with its fastigiate form.
I love the berries and leaf shapes of all the Sorbus and to see a variety new to me was a delightful surprise, Sorbus eburnia “Harry Smith”. It was growing close to a Liquidamber which was turning from deep green to deep reds, and formed a beautiful open specimen.
Before I tell you what tree impressed me most at this wonderful arboretum I would like to share a few pics of Euonymus europaeus “Thornhayes” one of the selections of our native deciduous Euonymus simply because they are my favourite deciduous shrub and a Hydrangea petiolaris just getting established at the base of a tree. This will look great in 5 years time! We can’t grow them and so have given up! I have just discovered that the botanists have now decided that this climbing shrub must be called Hydrangea anomala subsp. petiolaris. I wonder what it did to deserve that!
And the star of the show? Well it just has to be a Birch doesn’t it – Betula utilis “Doorenbos”. White stems with the texture of suede and in places the gentlest hints of salmon pink. This multi-stemmed specimen stopped us in our tracks.
Of course before we left with just minutes until Bluebell shut up shop for the day we had to have a peruse around the nursery. We bought this little beautiful shrub with its delicate little scented yellow flowers and bronzed foliage turning red in places as autumn was approaching. It is called Bush Honeysuckle or Diervilla lonicera for our garden at home and a tree for the Winter Garden at our allotment community gardens, an orange stemmed Lime, Tilia cordata “Winter Orange” a tree we have been searching for since we planted this border up over 6 years ago now. So we had a great day and came home with two wonderful new plants. We were so interested in everything the Bluebell Arboretum has to offer that we almost overstayed our welcome. The owners politely asked if they could close the gate now please so they could take their dogs for a walk and they probably deserved their tea! Below is our newly purchased Diervilla.