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

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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'

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Acer pubinerve

Acer pubinerve

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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

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Liquidambar styraciflua

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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.

Euonymus

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Sorbus pseudohupehensis ‘Pink Pagoda’

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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

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More acers

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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

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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:

Acer

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.

Callicarpa

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Last few acers

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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. 🙂

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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.

Views

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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!

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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

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More views

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Hope you enjoyed the photos 🙂

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Lineover Wood

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

Woodland

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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

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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

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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

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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.

Views

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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! 😀