Monday, 13 October 2008

winkworth arboretum

One of the best bits of autumn is the change in colour of leaves as the season moves toward winter. It's said that mid October is the best time to visit Winkworth to catch the splendid variety of that colour change and my visit at the weekend did exactly that.

A long time favourite of mine, Acers, give a stunning show of colour this time of year from deep burgundy reds to flame yellow and orange, like those of the Acer macrophyllum (Oregon Maple) whose dark shining green leaves turn bright orange.

Apart from this visual feast of colour there is one that surprises the sense of smell; Cercidiphyllum japonicum or Katsura tree. It is easily identified by the whiff of burnt sugar. There are several planted near the steps down to the boathouse and this is the best place to experience this. I picked up a dropped leaf that had what looked like dew on it. The colour of the liquid was faintly yellow and smelt very strongly of sweet syrup.

On Sorbus Hill I was expecting to see a number of Sorbus varieties, Sorbus aucuparia or wild Rowan being one, heavy with berries but they seemed a bit thin on the ground with some looking distinctly dead looking. It looks like some replanting needs to be done. The view across the valley made up for the disappointment.

Pictures captured on a Fuji Finepix by my son Ben, aged 4 3/4yrs old.

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