SEt­ting Au­tumn AblAzE

Landscape (UK) - - Our Landscape -

An East Anglian gar­den puts on a spec­tac­u­lar show as it comes alive with a riot of rich colour

tucked away down nar­row lanes in the un­du­lat­ing farm­land of the Es­sex Suf­folk border, a spec­tac­u­lar au­tumn dis­play can be seen. Shel­tered from the north wind by a 20 acre na­ture re­serve of na­tive trees and shrubs, three tree species, ac­ers, nys­sas and liq­uidambars, are com­pet­ing to see which can dis­play the rich­est hues in their eight acre gar­den. From Oc­to­ber through to December, they cre­ate a can­vas splashed with scar­let, cerise and deep reds, punc­tu­ated by faded greens and old golds. Screened from the River Stour by muted am­ber tones of birch trees and a sil­very mist of wil­lows, the ac­ers are aglow. The site is home to ap­prox­i­mately 50 of these slow-grow­ing, small de­cid­u­ous trees, with their grace­ful habit and beau­ti­ful fo­liage. The pre­dom­i­nantly wine-dark Acer pal­ma­tum ‘Osakazuki’ spreads grace­ful branches to the ground, with leaves of ruby, dark salmon-pink and flame. Near it, A. japon­icum ‘Lacinia­tum’ bears fil­i­gree fo­liage of rasp­berry-soft pinks and cream, with touches of

The red-fringed leaves of Acer japon­icum ‘Lacinia­tum’, known as the downy Ja­panese maple from the white hairs on young leaves (far left). The ground be­low Acer cap­pado­ci­cum ‘Aureum’ is cov­ered with its five-lobed golden leaves (cen­tre left). The scar­let au­tumn leaves of Acer pal­ma­tum ‘Osakazuki’ (left).

On the left of the water, the gold and red au­tumn leaves of Nyssa syl­vat­ica glow. Op­po­site, on the right, is Nyssa sinen­sis. Be­hind stands a 400-year-old cedar of Le­banon.

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