arboreta autumn autumn colours colours garden design garden photography gardening gardens gardens open to the public ornamental trees and shrubs outdoor sculpture sculpture trees

Autumn in an Arboretum and Afternoon Tea

We were lucky to receive a voucher for an afternoon tea from our son Jamie and daughter-in-law Sam, and of course little Arabella and decided to redeem it at a hotel down in the Cotswolds, near the village of Moreton-in-the-Marsh.

We drove down early and spent time wandering Batsford Arboretum, enjoying the colours of autumn leaves before the winds blew them from the branches. It was a dull day but the foliage glowed through the gloom. Most colour came from Acers and Liquidamber of many varieties of each. The wind had already whipped many leaves from their branches.


Of course autumn isn’t complete without the red, pinks, oranges and reds of berries, provided by Sorbus, Malus and here at Batsford by the unusual tree called Zanthoxylum planispinum (photo below left).


One area of the arboretum was strongly influenced by Japanese garden styles, complete with red painted wooden bridges.


While looking at this statue of Buddha we had to suddenly take refuge  in the Japanese tea house nearby from a quick but heavy shower in.


We only just allowed ourselves enough time to reach Charingworth Manor for our afternnon tea booked for three in the afternoon. On the journey there it began to rain slightly and the temperature dropped so we were glad to get inside this beautiful Cotswold manor house to the warm and dry. We sat to enjoy our tea close to a huge log fireplace of golden Cotswold stone.

What a great day we had with autumn foliage, an amble around an arboretum finished off in style with afternoon tea.



architecture colours garden buildings garden design garden photography garden pools gardens gardens open to the public hardy perennials National Garden Scheme NGS ornamental trees and shrubs outdoor sculpture roses shrubs trees water in the garden Yellow Book Gardens

Miserden Park, a Gloucestershire Garden

We were journeying south towards Hampshire and searched for a place to break our journey. We were pleased to discover Miserden Park was close to the road we travelled. We expected it to be easy to find as we knew which village it was on the outskirts of but poor signage directing us firstly to the village and then to the garden itself made it difficult.

When we saw the house at Miserden we were impressed with the way the gardens around it helped it sit so comfortably in the landscape. The pale blue planting looked so good with the pale limestone of the building.

2015 06 21_2889 2015 06 21_2890

We soon realised that this was one of those gardens which impressed with the tiny details of individual plants and colour combinations but also with the bigger pictures it presented.

2015 06 21_2896 2015 06 21_2893

2015 06 21_2887 2015 06 21_2894

2015 06 21_2888

Metalwork impressed us from the imposing gates to the intimate seats.

2015 06 21_2886 2015 06 21_2884

We loved the contrast between the formal gardens and the wilder “Robinsonian” areas. Paths mown through the long grass in these wilder areas led us to surprise plants to appreciate such as this Aesculus.

2015 06 21_2891 2015 06 21_2892

On the paved area which surrounded the house containers planted up with gently coloured plants enhanced the colour of the stonework.

2015 06 21_2911 2015 06 21_2898 2015 06 21_29012015 06 21_2900

An unusual rill garden had been created to celebrate the Millenium and a nearby conveniently positioned summer house gives visitors a good chance to rest awhile and admire it.

2015 06 21_2907 2015 06 21_2905


2015 06 21_2909 2015 06 21_2910

A shrub border full of deep purple leaves provided a rest for the eyes after studying brighter coloured plantings.


2015 06 21_2912 2015 06 21_2915

The grey stone walls of local limestone were a perfect foil for gentle coloured roses.



2015 06 21_2916 2015 06 21_2917


One area had been developed much more recently and afforded impressive contrasts of style.

2015 06 21_2918 2015 06 21_2919 2015 06 21_2920 2015 06 21_2921

We couldn’t really work out what this strange stonework integrated into the base of an ancient tree was all about.

2015 06 21_2923 2015 06 21_2924

We finished our tour of the gardens at Miserden with a long slow walk along the double herbaceous borders.


2015 06 21_2925 2015 06 21_2926 2015 06 21_2927 2015 06 21_2928 2015 06 21_2929 2015 06 21_2930 2015 06 21_2931 2015 06 21_2932


It is always a bonus to visit a good garden when taking a break in a journey further afield. Miserden was well worth stopping to explore.