26 Oct 2016

Autumn Colours

Ardd Fotaneg · Botanic Garden

Last week when I was at the Garden the trees were, for the most part, green.  A few had changed colour but they still had a way to go.

This week there was colour everywhere, it was lovely.

Why should just one week make such a difference?  I wonder if the lovely weather we had last week had anything to do with it.  The Garden still has lots of colour apart from the trees.  I think autumn is my favourite time of year because of the lovely colours; the yellows, oranges, rich coppery (is that a word?) browns and all shades in between.  There are other colours as well, of course.  There are loads of berries and not only red either.  The michaelmas daisies come in all shades of blue/purple, there are still dahlias with their vibrant pinks and yellows as well as softer shades.  Last week, in the Double Walled Garden there was a great spread of small deep red chrysanthemums just starting to come out so, although I wasn’t down that way this week, I bet they are an absolute blaze of colour by now.  Chrysanths are such long lasting flowers they are sure to still be there.

Getting back to the trees, there are two acers in the Wallace Garden that are such lovely shades of red that they look as if there’s a light in them, and a new little Ginkgo that is such a pretty shade of yellow I almost dug it up to take it home (no I didn’t that was just in my dreams!). Last week there was a lovely smell as you walked up the top end of the Broadwalk which provoked a nice conversation with some visitors.  Yes it was the ‘candy floss tree’ ( Cercidiphyllum japonicum).  If you haven’t come across it I think you may have to wait until next year now (I could be wrong).  When this pretty tree starts to shed its leaves they smell delicious – like candy floss and you can smell as you walk up (or down) the Broadwalk. Yummie.

The other trees I was looking at this week were in the Ghost Forest.  I hadn’t been round that side of the Great Glass House for a while and I was surprised at how the trees have weathered.  They all looked bigger than I remembered them and the colour of them seems to have mellowed.  I didn’t spend very long looking at them because it was time to go home but I’m going to go back for a better look at the fungus I saw on one of them.

I didn’t go to Plas Pilipala this week but I do enjoy visiting the butterflies.  I was a bit sceptical at first and wondered what they could add to the Garden.  As with any butterflies in any garden I think they add a great deal and I’m glad they are there.

Pam Murden