Batsford Arboretum

A couple of weeks ago I visited Batsford Arboretum, to see their collection of trees in all their autumnal glory. I first visited Batsford two years ago in spring, when their magnolias and cherry blossom blew me away.

Views of the Arboretum




IMG_7726I was really looking forward to seeing the arboretum at a completely different, but just as beautiful, time of year – it didn’t disappoint in any way.

Acer palmatum ‘Sango-kaku’

Acer palmatum 'Sango-kaku'


Acer pubinerve

Acer pubinerve


IMG_7772It has 55 acres of natural Cotswold countryside and one of the largest private tree collections in the country with almost 3,000 tree varieties.

Ginkgo biloba



Liquidambar styraciflua



IMG_7688As soon as I stepped into the garden colour hit me from every direction. A fine Ginkgo biloba specimen was like a tower of gold, several Euonymus and Sorbus species had beautiful berries.



Sorbus pseudohupehensis ‘Pink Pagoda’



Sorbus pseudohupehensis 'Pink Pagoda'

Rhus succedanea

Rhus succedaneaA small woodland area primarily of beech trees (Fagus sylvatica) was very dramatic with a carpet of russet brown leaves on the ground, mirrored in the leaves still hanging in the trees.

Woodland area



More acers


IMG_7652The acers truly stole the show however. From a distance every pathway was lit with a splash of red, orange or gold, as I got closer I realised every tree was an acer! Some trees looked like they were on fire in the sunlight.

Acers again




IMG_7740I became so inspired I even wrote a quick poem! I have a lot of scribblings in my notebook that I haven’t typed up yet. . . here’s the one I wrote at Batsford:


blood red ‘Bloodgood’

foliage flickering flames

even on the greyest, dankest of days

your colour doesn’t wane

it burns, brighter and brighter

reds and golds

chasing the cold away

a light of life

on this autumn day.



Last few acers


IMG_7769The arboretum was a truly sensational display of colour, I always think autumn is the farewell party nature throws until spring. . . and everyone’s invited. I hope you enjoyed the photos. 🙂



Cam Peak

Cam Peak is my local dog-walking place, five minutes drive from where I live. I was recently dog-sitting my landlord’s gorgeous black Labradors Murphy and Jasper and took them for a romp round part of the Cotswold Way.




The views of the countryside are truly amazing, it feels like you’re on top of the world. On a clear day you can see right out to the Brecon Beacons in Wales, it feels strange seeing the place I used to call home in the distance. . .

Spot the dogs!


There are a few spots rich in wildflowers, one patch had dozens of pyramidal orchids, Anacamptis pyramidalis. I won’t be able to stay away in springtime when the wildflowers are at their prime!

Patch of Anacamptis pyramidalis


More views



Hope you enjoyed the photos 🙂


Lineover Wood

I recently discovered Lineover wood near Cheltenham, a woodland with ancient trees and fantastic wildflowers.




The collections of coppiced oak (Quercus robur), field maple (Acer campestre) and hazel (Corylus avellana) was vast, I saw some awe-inspiring beeches (Fagus sylvatica) and ash (Fraxinus excelsior) specimens too.

Old trees





Lineover is most famous for its old lime trees (Tilia x europaea), most of which are present as old coppiced stools. It’s a fantastic place to explore and escape from the world, I didn’t meet a single soul during my visit.

Impressive oak

136137Cool fungi


093The wildflowers stole the show for me, at the top of a steep climb a whole meadow was alive with colour. Plants like devil’s-bit scabious (Succisa pratensis), St John’s-wort (Hypericum perforatum) and knapweed (Centaurea nigra) were out in full force as well as common spotted orchid Dactylorhiza fuchsii and pyramidal orchid Anacamptis pyramidalis.

088Devil’s-bit scabious and St John’s-wort

091Dactylorhiza fuchsii

127Anacamptis pyramidalis

080The views over the Cheltenham and Malvern hills are stunning, when I went it was a beautiful day and I could see for miles.


095120Devil’s-bit scabious again

087It’s supposed to be perfect woodland for bluebells, I’ll be returning again in spring if not before. Hope you enjoyed the photos 🙂

Floral Friday – Puya chilensis

This is a quick update for you all, as I haven’t posted anything for a month! The PGG study trip to Portugal was sensational, more amazing than I thought it would be. Since I returned to Wales life has been a whirlwind, I had a job offer to work in a dream garden which I have accepted! so I’ve been busy organising somewhere to live as well as coping with other problems which life throws at you.

I start my new job at the beginning of June which is very exciting! yet sad at the same time as I will be leaving my current job at NBGW early. I only have three weeks left so I’m going to enjoy the rest of my time here as much as I can. I have lots of lovely photos from my adventures which I’ll share soon – until then here’s a shot of a fabulous plant in flower in the Great Glasshouse at the moment, Puya chilensis from Chile. Isn’t it wonderful? Happy Friday! 😀