Our tenth visit to the wonderful Dorothy Clive Gardens saw us wandering around in cool temperatures and lightly overcast skies in late October. We expected to see autumn progressing well and a few plants flowering out of season. The sweeping driveway up to the car park was full of promises of what delights we had in store.
There were few visitors around which is typical of gardens once summer comes to an end. So many visitors to gardens think nothing goes on after September so stay away until next spring. We were there almost on our own sharing the joys of autumn at this beautiful garden with just a handful of other visitors. It is sad because there is so much to see in most good gardens in autumn and through into winter. The first few yards walk from the car park to the ticket office afforded distant views over the garden and a chance to study a newly planted border.
Views along paths among trees and shrubs were greatly enhanced by the low bright light creating bright patches and deep shadows.
The colourful Viburnum we enjoyed discovering earlier in the year caught our eyes again, its berries a more colourful mix of glossy red and black like jewels among its Persian carpet foliage.
Flowering plants keep providing interest well into the autumn and foliage plants really come into their own especially grasses and ferns.
Berries are a feature of autumn not to be missed. This year we are seeing more than usual remaining on trees and shrubs because there are fewer migrant thrushes visiting us to gorge themselves on our gardens’ bounty.
Acers of course feature strongly as it is in this season that their foliage changes by the day, and we can begin to appreciate some of the interesting colours of the bark.
It felt good to discover something totally new at the garden after visiting all year. We noticed that the gardeners and volunteers had been hard at work crafting this rustic fence from old rhododendron trunks with all their curls and bends. It is also exciting to come across a plant that we do not recognise at all so have to seek out a label and if we get lucky we can then follow up with research. This Lindera obtusiloba first attracted us to it because of its startlingly bright yellow leaves but on closer study we were struck by the unusual shape of its leaves.
Autumn is the season that belongs to trees as it becomes their turn to turn up the colours and get out their paint pallettes.
That is it for our October visit so just 2 more monthly reports of our regular wanderings around the Dorothy Clive Gardens. November will see autumn ending and giving way to winter.