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Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Autumn colour at Westonbirt

I decided to drag myself away from Book No 3 yesterday and spend the day at Westonbirt Arboretum with my neighbour Neil and our dogs, Rufus and Harry. This is one of the best times to visit, as the autumn foliage colour at Westonbirt, which houses the National Collection of Japanese Maples, is spectacular.
Unfortunately, the weather wasn't wonderful - it was grey and damp, but not too cold and not actually raining. I hadn't been to Westonbirt, which is about 20 minutes away by car, for a couple of years, so I was intrigued to see the new treetop walkway. Unfortunately, the walkway is surrounded by conifers, and beneath it is some sort of play area or work area with a lot of wooden structures (I was trying not to look down too much, so I didn't really see), so from a distance, it doesn't really give you an indication of what is in store.
Westonbirt was busy: the schools are on half-term holiday this week, so there were hundreds of people, accompanied by lots of children in brightly coloured bobble hats, and dozens of dogs.
Trying to take photographs of a garden when it is full of people is quite a challenge. I didn't even bother taking my camera - I just used my iPhone.
It's always nice to have a place to yourself when you are trying to look at things, but on the other hand, I loved the fact that it was so busy. I loved the idea that so many people wanted to take their children there for a half-term outing, and that the children themselves seemed to be enjoying it so much. All around there were small excited people climbing on trees, kicking leaves, and comparing leaf colours. It was fantastic. 
Most of the really colourful foliage was provided by the maples, but there were other trees in full autumn regalia as well, such as the Kentucky yellowwood, or Cladrastis kentukea (see final picture). Hope you enjoy the pictures.


















7 comments:

  1. Marvellous. You timed it perfectly for peak colour. We currently have some heart stoppingly deep red ash trees at Morrisons of all places!

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  2. I love those ash trees with the purple autumn colour! I think they are Fraxinus angustifolia 'Raywood' - we have them here at Dobbie's. They're popular trees for car parks and urban streets, apparently, because they are tolerant of soil compaction.

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    1. You inspired me to go and take some photos :)

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  3. Gorgeous colours, it's such a beautiful place isn't it. Really wonderful in early summer as well, in the Silk Wood, I like it even more then I think. Much quieter too! There's an arboretum near here that I've been thinking about visiting (Tortworth). The trees really are sensational right now.

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    1. I love the Silk Wood, and I love going off the main paths and finding myself in a quiet spot. But to see everyone enjoying the trees so much was really heartwarming, even if it was a bit busy!

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  4. There's a park in Dorchester which has some 'special' trees but otherwise we rely on 'ordinary' ones for autumn colour. Last year was brilliant but 2016 autumn is taking a break. It does that sometimes. It hangs on to leaves for ages, tatty and boring. Then they all fall off at once.

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    1. We have lots of beeches round here, which can always be relied upon to provide fiery autumn colour. The colour has been good, because of cold nights and sunny days, but this week everything has turned a bit murky and all the leaves are dropping.

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