Gardens to visit for autumn colour

Forde-Abbey3Wrap up warm and get ready to be dazzled by the season’s rich colours at these five special gardens

Secret garden

Billed as one of the UK’s ‘secret’ gardens, the restoration of Plas Cadnant on Anglesey in north Wales has been a labour of love for owner Anthony Tavernor since 1996. The 200-acre estate is still in the process of being renovated and visitors this autumn can look out for a resident red squirrel among the gardens. Owner Anthony says, “Whatever time you visit the hidden gardens, there will be some lovely plants to enjoy.” And on 14 September, there is an expert-led Fungi Foray in the grounds.

Golden shot

Enjoy a golden experience at the award-winning Trentham Gardens in Staffordshire this autumn thanks to its swathes of mellow-tinted grasses and vast herbaceous perennials. Along the woodland walk besides the mile-long lake, more than 150 trees native to the US have been planted especially for their spectacular autumn colour while visitors can enjoy the seasonal tints of Japanese cherries and mature oaks. And on Sunday 7 September, grandparents get free entry with a full-paying grandchild in celebration of National Grandparents’ Day

Ancient abbey

A world heritage site with elegant ornamental lakes, avenues, temples and cascades, Fountains Abbey Gardens and Studley Royal Water Gardens in Ripon, North Yorkshire, has been drawing visitors for centuries. From glorious golds to rich russets, the estate is simply bursting with colour during autumn, and don’t forget to look out for fallow, sika and red deer around the grounds. And if you love wildlife, join a member of the National Trust staff on a Wildlife Wander on Sunday 14 September.

Magical transformation

Boasting one of the country’s finest displays of autumn colour, Winkworth Arboretum near Godalming in Surrey has a collection of more than 1,000 different shrubs and trees and this time of year visitors can witness a magical transformation as the lush greens blaze into glorious autumn colour. Viewpoints around higher points of the National Trust property offer perfect places to experience the full beauty of the orange, gold and red and yellow leaves as the Japanese maple leaves provide a red carpet walkway and the plant life turns golden. And on Sunday 21 September, visitors can take part in a Fungi Foray with an expert.

Star of the show

Forde Abbey and Gardens has starred in many a TV and radio gardening programme, and visitors will be able to marvel at its glorious display of seasonal shades across the garden from its vast array of trees and shrubs. Star performers include glorious maples, a tulip tree that turns yellow-gold, the burnt orange of the turkey oak and an avenue lined with lime trees with pale yellow-green leaves. There will also be displays of Mexican sunflowers, heleniums, dahlias and Michaelmas daisies. And look out for Autumn Colour Week from 25 October to 2 November to really appreciate the change of season.

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