Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Autumn Colours at the Abbey House Gardens

Westonbirt Arboretum, about 5 miles down the road from the Abbey House Gardens, has recently got lots of TV coverage on the national BBC news about their Japanese Maple Trees. Through National Forestry research they estimate that around 25% of their Japanese Maple trees are under threat as they have shallow roots and are thus more intolerant to drought - caused by our warming climate (see our almost rainless September just gone!)

These challenges faced by Westonbirt are also similar to those faced by our gardens. At the last count we had over 100 Japanese Maple trees that we purchased direct from Westonbirt. Our maple trees are littered around but largely in the river gardens. Its incredibly important to keep these maples well watered during any months that experience anomalies in weather conditions.

Westonbirt is famous for its Autumn colours and lots of day visitors to the Arboretum also call in at the Abbey House Gardens to make a full day in the Cotswolds. If you want a colour hit to contrast with the autumnal browns then you might be surprised to know we have lots of Roses still in bloom. Indeed one of our visitors on the 1st October wrote in our comments book:

'Wonderful roses in October, scent so unexpected.'

All this talk of Autumn reminded us of the lovely descriptive poem by John Keats. Keep these words in mind if you visit our gardens in October, a perfect narrative to what you might find...

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells.

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