The National Garden Scheme has posted this quote on their website.
“Autumn…the year’s last, loveliest smile.” William Cullen Bryant (1794 – 1878)
You can view their Autumn Smile here
What is making you smile this Autumn?
The end of the summer holiday saw us, with the grandchildren, visiting the Knapp and Paper-mill reserve of the Worcestershire Wildlife Trust. Link The reserve lies in the Teme valley and the Malvern Hills area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
After a picnic at the entrance to the site, where we were watched by a cheeky Robin, we set off to explore, our youngest granddaughter could remember visiting with her school, they do have an educational facility on site. You come first to the old orchard, where some of the trees were laden with apples, which I assume previously belonged to Knapp House…
You can venture down to the stream at several different places with a willow hide at one, placed specifically for viewing Kingfishers.
The Knapp weir was originally used to divert water to the watermill.
There are meadows…
…and steep wooded banks.
The hedgerows were bearing clusters of autumn fruit, which I am sure the bird life will appreciate later in the year.
The Elderberry has long been a favourite for making into wine. We made some many years ago, I have to record it was a nice but powerful drink.
The GuelderRose was looking spectacular, already developing its wonderful autumn leaf colour. The berries contain one seed which is distributed by the birds.
Wild Hops gracefully covered many of the hedgerows and trees. It is of course cultivated for the flavouring of beer. (There is an alcoholic theme developing here!) There are male and female hop plants, the female grows the flowers that we associate with beer brewing while the male has catkins. Worcestershire and Herefordshire was historically an important hop producing area along with Kent.
Also covering the trees and hedgerows was ‘Old Man’s Beard’, this is the country name given to the wild Clematis when it is covered with its whispery seed heads.
Standing on a small bridge over the steam the girls decided to play Pooh Sticks…
…The only problem was we could not tell which stick belonged to who, so they both claimed to have won!
The visit made a fitting end to the summer holidays, reminding us that autumn is on its way and like nature we should be filling the store cupboard. (Not least with wine to fight the winter chills!)
I am joining Chloris and her many followers in posting my Top Ten for November, please visit The Blooming Garden to see what their Top Ten are.
Number one, the seed heads of the Lunaria, which provides a silvery shine in the low November sunlight. This plant provides interest through out the whole year, from the young leaves with their maroon spots, the dark purple flowers and now the seed heads.
…growing in front is a young Cotinus, we lost a mature one a few years ago, therefore we are looking forward to this one developing and flowering in the future.
These two ‘Grasses’ make a striking feature at the end of the pebble river in the Oriental Garden. I originally saw this plant combination when visiting The Bressingham Gardens, Nr Diss, Norfolk.
This Viburnum, in the White and Green Garden, is one of the earliest flowering shrubs in the garden. It flowers from early autumn through to late spring, and looks particularly good when there is a blue sky behind it.
Anna from the The Greentapestry was recently singing the praises of this rose, mentioning that it flowers from July to November.
Here it is in the Iris bed on the south side of the house…
…along with ‘ ‘Geoff Hamilton’, I am hoping this bud will open.
I will always have Viola’s in the garden, whether it’s the diminutive ‘Heartsease’ which I grow from seed, (it does also self seed), or ones purchased from garden centres to provide colour through out winter.
We were given two Clivia three years ago, one flowered the first year, none the next year and one, (yippie!) so far this year.
I am not sure if Number ten qualifies for a November favourite, although it is one of mine and it is in the garden. The first sighting, today, of the female Blackcap on the bird feeders. I always like to see the arrival of this aggressive little bird, she always arrives before the male and tries to defend the feeders from all comers. the down side is that it heralds the arrival of winter weather, ‘Up North’ which will eventually make its way here.
This is a picture from 2014, they are quite nervous and therefore difficult to photograph. You can see more ‘Birdie” pictures by clicking the Wildlife Category.
That is my Top Ten in Our Garden@ 19, for November, I wonder what will be around for December?
Choosing my Top Ten flowers in Our garden@19 is difficult at any time of year, however one for October has to be the Michaelmas Daisy. (Aster/ Symphyotrichum.)
This white one appeared in the garden two years ago. I think it may have come in with another plant. It is a runner (ie.invasive) by the appearance of its roots, I was unsure whether to keep it, until it flowers then, when it does, I relent.
I like the way it blends in beautifully with number two, the Acer griseum, ( I know its not a flower, I hope Chloris approves*, See below) with its peeling cinnamon like bark…
…along with the Molina ‘Karl Foerster’. The Grasses make a lovely contribution to the October garden, therefore they are my number three.
Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’ has been a feature in this garden ever since I first saw it in Bob Brown’s, Cotswold Flowers, display beds. It stands at the back of the border, stiff and upright without the need for support.
In the White and Green garden the amazingly reliable Iceberg rose is still flowering…
…along with a late planted Sweet Pea that has decided to climb up the Taxus bac. Fastigiata.
Sedum do not seem to do very well in Our Garden@19 so this one is very welcome.
The Crab Apple ‘Golden Hornet’ is in its second period of glory*, blossom being the first. it is growing alongside the raised bed containing ‘THE’ Dahlia for me ‘David Howard’.
The arch is covered with the ornamental vine ‘Spetchley Red’ through which…
…you can stroll to the banana bench and sit, to take in all the autumn colours in Our Garden@19.
I am joining in with Chloris * and other bloggers posting our Top Ten for October. Please visit them using the link to see their selection.