cornwall in colours: autumn shades

November

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Garden Portrait: under an autumn sky

Garden Portrait: under an autumn sky

October was a mixed bag of weather. Warm and sunny at first, followed by a couple of big storms and then days of dullness. When the sun finally reappeared we grabbed the chance to head off to Lanhydrock House and Gardens near Bodmin. On approaching our destination we were beginning to regret our choice as ominous clouds gathered on the horizon. In contrast the sky over the north coast were very blue. However I was desperate to see trees and autumn colour and we wouldn’t find that near the coast.

The Gatehouse (1651) used as a hunting lodge, porter’s lodge and even a Sunday School

We were lucky. As we approached the gardens the dark clouds moved away and we were blessed with warm sunshine.  In addition to a variety of colourful leaves there was still plenty of colour in the garden alongside the dramatic seed-heads of Helianthus, Rudbeckia and Monarda.

Lanhydrock is one of the famous ‘Great Gardens of Cornwall’ with a large collection of magnolias (120 varieties) and the formal parterre garden below with its box-edged flower beds and clipped yew trees is where you find tulips in springtime.

Now it provides a green foil to the bright colours of the trees in the background and shrubs in the borders. 

Hydrangeas form a colourful passage through to the circular garden.

And the low afternoon light cast shadows and highlights on the Astilbe / False Goat’s Beard dying flowers.

A bench in the sun is perfectly positioned to take in the beauty of the circular garden with its deep herbaceous borders and mix of tropical and native plants, but we were aware that lunch was only served until 3 pm and time was ticking. At the back of the church more herbaceous borders line the meandering paths which lead you higher up the hillside to woodland walks, giving spectacular views of the striking trees, or back down to the stable yard containing the ubiquitous second-hand bookshop, restaurant, refreshment kiosk and toilets.

After a lovely lunch of Robartes Pie (containing layers of potato, cheese, and apple) we left the grounds to explore the house (there are 50 rooms to see so make sure you have enough time) and especially to revisit the 35 metre ‘Long Gallery’ with its superb plasterwork ceiling dating back to approximately 1640.

If you like a walk, long or short, then please visit Jo for her regular strolls in the UK and the Algarve and maybe you would like to join in too. She’s very welcoming.