Gorgeous sights, scents and sounds make up a stunning autumn day at Kew Gardens.
Real gardeners love all the seasons, but each of us has one particular time of year that we adore the most. For F&F that’s autumn. The smells, the colours, the sounds. The taste of bonfire smoke on your tongue. The fading grandeur, like a country house slowly peeling away. The strange melancholy as the nights draw in. Few places are as grand as Kew when the leaves are on the turn. It looks marvellous this week.
The leaves are well and truly turned now. And the colours! Oh, the colours.
If you’re not all that enamoured with autumn, let me try to persuade you. Firstly, some more leaves:
Oh, hold up there just one minute.. Those aren’t red autumn leaves. Those are black leaves. Yes, black leaves on a Liquidambar tree. It’s like the sweet gum is turning to treacle in the late October sun.
This is Liquidambar styraciflua ‘Worplesdon’. Anyway, back to the leaves:
So, I think I’ve made my point about autumn leaves. They are so not just red and orange.
What about berries, then?
Well, these Clerodendrum fruitss aren’t all that red or orange, are they?
And neither are these Callicarpa berries? What’s that? You want to see more of them? Oh, go on then:
What about exotic fruits?
These little persimmon fruits were growing happily away in one of the wooded areas.
Still, if it’s red and orange fruits that you really do want, then you can find one or two of those too…
…like this Sea Buckthorn…
…or these rose hips…
Bored of berries and pretty sights? How about feelings? Yes, have a little walk (though not barefoot, unless you’re a particularly odd type or a fakir) over a patch of Spanish chestnut cases.
And you’ll soon realise…
…quite how sweet they are…
But if you’re still feeling unimpressed, even by the rushing sound of the leaves cartwheeling across the lawns in the wind, by the spiced scent of rotting plant matter and late flowers like the honeysuckle, and the feeling of walking over those chestnut cases, perhaps you’d like to sneak a peek at this chap, who was also enjoying the autumn colour at Kew this week: