Autumn comes stealthily. A touch of orange on a leaf. A few berries on a tree or bush. Late summer flowers starting to dominate our gardens. Conkers falling and squirrels out foraging in our local parks.
It’s my favourite season, although I’d like it even more if it weren’t followed by winter, my least favourite!
It’s the first day of autumn! A time of hot chocolatey mornings, and toasty marshmallow evenings, and, best of all, leaping into leaves!A A Milne, Pooh’s Grand Adventure
Amy asks for some Colours of Autumn for the Lens Artists Challenge this week, and similarly Terri would like us to share our Signs of Autumn for Sunday Stills. But the trees in my area haven’t properly turned yet, so I’m taking you back to last autumn. In October 2020 we visited a garden which I had read was at its best in the autumn, Emmetts Garden in Kent (just south of London). And boy did it deliver!
The garden was developed in Edwardian times by Frederic Lubbock, a keen plantsman. He collected many exotic and rare trees and shrubs from across the world. Under the National Trust’s ownership it is gradually being restored to its former glory but is already a fabulous spot for a walk and for photography.
There are wonderful views over the Kent Weald (this is one of the highest spots in the county) and a network of trails through the wooded slopes, in addition to the formal gardens. These include a Rock Garden, at its best in autumn when the acers glow red and orange; a Rose Garden; and planned areas of shrub planting to show off the more exotic specimens in a semi-natural setting.
Let me take you on a walk through the garden …
The Rock Garden
This was where we saw the most vivid colours as there is a great collection of Acers (Japanese Maple). There were also still some flowers in this sheltered spot.
The North Garden
They were in the process of restoring this area to look more like Frederic Lubbock’s original design, making more of the small pond at its centre. This is the highest part of the garden.
The Woodland Walk
Steps led us down to a path strewn with fallen leaves and prickly sweet chestnut cases. There were lots of fungi to spot among the trees, some of them tiny!
The South Garden
This is more open, with lawns dotted with trees, many of them vibrant at this time of year. A beautiful spot in which to end our walk and maybe relax on one of the many benches, strategically positioned with views of the best trees and the Kent Weald beyond.
I visited Emmetts Garden in 2020