April and May are the best months for autumn tints. The Sango Kaku maple (just outside the corner of the restaurant) is already in colour. For weeks at the end of summer this wonderful tree turns pink and lemon. Then after it drops its leaves, its twigs are blood-red through winter. For anyone wanting to grow one, the trick is to plant your tree in sunshine. It is light rather than cold that brings out its striking bark colour.
Apart from the Sango Kaku, probably our best tree for early colour is the Acer palmatum Japonicum Vitifolium, the full-moon maple at the end of the lower meadow. This is reliable for brilliant scarlet and orange autumn colour and has adense mounding habit and makes a great shade tree for small gardens.
Things build from mid-April everywhere in the garden! Our collection of weeping maples just below Seasons are firing up and on our terrace the two enormous weeping maples: Acer palmatum Dissectum Atropurpureum flush orange and red for some two weeks around now. Please let friends know just when they’re hitting their straps as we always have a rush of enquiries from people far and wide wanting to see them!
The borders are softening this month and have only occasional flowers. However their autumn seed heads are fascinating, mellow and atmospheric. The big grasses scattered throughout are at their finest and the repeated clumps of Miscanthus nepalensis in our warm borders among the loveliest. Their feathery pedant flowers wave shoulder-high each side of the path and glow tawny-gold in the sunshine.
See you in the garden – Jeremy Francis