Often weeding, moving, lifting and sweeping..… you lose the wood for the trees. So this is my monthly exercise - finding the woodland.
I am starting near the bottom of our steep drive. We have a row of beech trees near the road, planted when we came here 28 years ago, they are now magnificent specimens. Each autumn they take their time, slowly, yellow, gold, a flash of red and then in October the colours deepen to a wonderful glowing copper bronze. They have been wonderful.
The wind is now taking them away, but there is still pleasure as they swirl and gather in groups at the edge of the tarmac.
Walking up the hill you pass the magnificent Acer Bloodgood. Can an Acer be too big? I see that it’s winning the battle with the white lilac next to it. It is being squeezed out.
Up the steps and into the woodland and the first splendour that you meet is the Witch hazel. Our shrub is Hamamellis pallida, which has lovely pale lemon spidery flowers each winter, on the bare stems. The leaves are large and a clean acidic yellow, very noticeable this autumn. As the leaves fall off I can see myriad swollen flower buds. It will be a great show.
They look wonderful together in vase.
As you wander up the steps you can’t but see the evergreens. They take on a glossy glow that lasts through the winter. Holly and Ivy both gaining prominence as the colour show fades.Finally up to the big oak at the top of the garden. The most magnificent plants we have and a gorgeous deep bronze colour. Just now it is full of Jays, who have decided to turn up on Loch Ness and eat their way through the acorn crop.
They are noisy. Screeching and airborne when you or the dog appear. They remind me of scaled down Cockatoos. Squawk.