Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Autumn interest

Outside of the greenhouse, the Kew landscape has recently been going through some staggeringly beautiful and dramatic changes. The place is absolutely chock full of mature and magnificent trees, so the autumn colour is both unique and utterly glorious! There are literally thousands of trees here; The Arboretum holds the lion’s share of the site with the garden display areas dispersed in amongst it. The long history of the gardens means that many of these specimens are beasts, and considered champions within British arboriculture! This season of radiant autumn colour has already given way to winter structure, but with the strong possibility of snow on the horizon I am looking forward to smothered branches and icy silhouettes!
Several majestic specimens of Taxodium distichum dominate the banks of the Palm House lake, what a tree!

Down by the main lake, Taxodium distichum is collapsing into an autumn drop while the evergreen Taxodium mucronatum holds things together with a stiff upper lip

A monstrous Larix decidua towers over Prunus serrulata ‘Taki-nioi’

The shocking red foliage of Sorbus commixta!

An autumn standard, the Japanese Maple, Acer palmatum

The foliage of Cotinus obovatus displays these curious markings in autumn, the tree appearing to drain the life out of each leaf

Over by the Palace, a stand of Liquidambar styraciflua

This is Pterocarya x rehderiana, the foliage delightfully reminiscent of Wisteria autumn colour

The Temple of Aeolus perched on the mound that affords some good views of the Palm House, and an ancient Acer campestre

The shimmering display of Carya glabra, which has the charming common name of the Pignut hickory and is native to the Eastern United States

Prunus serrulata ‘Tai Haku’ lights up the Japanese Garden and Chokushi-Mon (the Gateway of the Imperial Messenger)

A chap named David Nash has been displaying some of his famous sculptures across the garden. He works mostly with wood, and these organic shapes have looked quite fantastic amongst the frosty Kew landscape

Amongst all of the colour, some incredible seed pods have been seen about the place! These are from the Goldenrain tree, Koelreuteria paniculata. Apologies for the quality of the image as these were taken with my field telephone device

Paulownia tomentosa fruit is egg shaped and with tiny, papery seeds. These seed pods and fruit were brought together for our recent identification test, every fortnight we have a ‘plant ident’ featuring a test on 20 Latin names from a possible list of 40. This includes genus, species and family

Finally this is from an Aristolochia species. Such detail and colouring, it looks more like an expensive Christmas tree decoration!
One of my favourite Hidcote blog posts was from this time of year; please click here for more autumn mayhem.


Sara said...

Though I've no talent for gardening, I am nonetheless enjoying your posts from Kew, which one day I hope to see in person. Here in Southern California, there are liquidambers up and down the street where I live. they are certainly ablaze in gorgeous color this time of year. And, lots of work raking up all those leaves when they start to fall, very soon now.

Greenorchid said...

Some beautiful images Bertie, I especially love the misty one... thanks for sharing Kew with us.

Anonymous said...

Hey Bertie, loving this 'tree' post and enjoying the new blog from Kew! The last picture of the seed pods of the Paulownia tomentosa fruit is beautiful.
Hen x

Wife, Mother, Gardener said...

Hooray for deciduous conifers! Looking forward to reading more about your placement at Kew!

Jane Aston said...

Intricate seed pods, I would surely be busy seeking out those. I've become a bit obsessed by collecting seeds lately. I don't remember there being a palace at Kew ( I read it has been been undergoing some restoration for the past few years. It's a wonderful orange colour and shape. I am also surprised by quite how many trees there are. Great to see the changes in atmosphere at different times of the day and year.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant post as always Bertie. Remember Latin names are always italicised, or underlined if writing by hand. Hope the test goes well! They would always dock us lots of marks for forgetting that at uni.

Bertie Bainbridge said...

Greetings all!