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Thursday, 13 September 2012

In Search of Fall Colours

Following my last post on the beginning of fall, I have been investigating the best places to see the autumn colours in my area.

I live in the county of East Sussex which is in the south east of the UK but the county of Kent borders East Sussex, hence we visit Kent a lot too.

(The white patch north of Surrey and north west of Kent is London. Also the rest of kent is surrounded by the sea which you can't see on this image. A bit of UK geography!)

After some research it seems there are 2 places which are renowned for beautiful autumn colours:

1. Sheffield Park, East Sussex

This is a National Trust garden of 200 acres which includes rare trees and shrubs set around lakes which give gorgeous reflections. There are plenty of acers, Japanese maples and North American species such as Nyssa, providing some of the best autumn colours.

This pinetum holds the world's finest conifer collection. You may wonder how conifers give autumn colour but interestingly, not all are evergreen.

This is what the curator has to say:

"A walk through the Pinetum reveals a variety of trees chosen for their spectacular autumn colour - including liquidamber, tulip, ginkgo, oak, black birch and recently-planted nyssa. The spindleberry and maples are already turning a vivid pink. The cornus amomum is covered in metallic blue berries and, as its leaves start to fall, the Katsura tree fills the air with the smell of candy floss. Around Marshal's Lake the dawn redwoods and swamp cypresses, despite being coniferous, take on various shades of burnt orange and foxy red before shedding their needles."

 I am drooling!

I also read in the newspaper today that the autumn colours in the Uk are going to be particularly spectacular this year due to the weather conditions. We had wet weather early in the summer which meant the trees produced a large volume of leaves which were also retained for longer. Then recently we had some very warm end-of-summer days increasing sugar levels in the trees which will boost colours even further. Now we are getting cooler nights so the leaves will start to turn.

Gosh I love this season : )


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