GARDEN VISIT: EAST BERGHOLT PLACE
The Place for PlantsMore on East Bergholt Place
East Bergholt Place
Rupert Eley is a passionate plantsman and serves on several of the Royal Horticultural Society plant committees. Below, Rupert writes about his top ten choices of trees and shrubs for best autumn colour.
Acer palmatum 'Chitose-yama' AGM
There are so many wonderful Japanese maples but this is one of my favourites. A graceful, deciduous shrub eventually forming a dense mound with drooping branches that shade and keep the roots cool in hot summers. Has attractive, deeply divided, greenish-bronze leaves that every year without fail, in our garden, turn a rich purple-red and then scarlet in the autumn. Height 2m/Spread 3m. Requires sun or partial shade, shelter from cold winds and late frosts and moist but well-drained, loamy soil.
Cornus 'Porlock' AGM
Another brilliant all year round plant and an uncomplicated flowering dogwood! A spreading, semi-evergreen tree that produces a breathtaking display, in the spring, of button-like flowerheads of purple and green flowers surrounded by four spectacular white bracts that slowly turn to pinkish-red. Heavy crops of amazing, long-stalked, warty, strawberry-like fruits then hang from the branches in the autumn. Height 10m/Spread 5m. Prefers sun or semi-shade and fertile, well-drained, neutral to acid soil.
Euonymus alatus AGM
Probably one of the best shrubs for autumn colour. A slow-growing, compact, many-branched, deciduous shrub, ideal for a small garden with its corky, winged branchlets and amazing, very reliable and long-lasting, brilliant red leaf colour in the autumn. Height 1.5m/Spread 3m. Prefers sun or semi-shade and any well-drained soil.
Euonymus alatus 'Timber Creek'
An excellent selection of Euonymus alatus, forming a well-shaped, multi-stemmed, deciduous shrub. Produces, in addition to the wonderful red autumn leaf colour a mass of eye-catching, orange-red, lobed fruits that open to reveal bright, orange-coated seeds that look out of the bush like thousands of tiny eyes!. Has corky, winged branchlets that become less prominent as the plant matures. The young shoots on older plants are an attractive mahogany-red. Height/Spread 2.5m. Prefers sun or semi-shade and any well-drained soil.
Euonymus hamiltonianus subsp. hians
A real wow in the autumn when completely smothered in very showy, almost spherical, 4-lobed, rose-pink fruits containing dark red and orange seeds. A deciduous shrub with corky stems on mature plants and with green leaves that turn lovely shades of pink or red in the autumn. Height/Spread 6m approx. Requires sun or semi-shade and any well-drained soil.
A lovely, slow-growing, upright, deciduous shrub or small tree with its unusual and distinct, drooping, marble-like, dark red fruits, borne in abundance and on closer examination segmented rather like a chocolate orange. The ‘marbles’ burst open to reveal hanging orange-red seeds. Also produces excellent autumn leaf colour in shades of red and purple-red. Height/Spread 2.5m. Requires sun or semi-shade and any well-drained soil.
Euonymus planipes AGM
A very good-natured, handsome, upright-growing, deciduous shrub that produces a profusion of stunning, large red fruits in the autumn that open to reveal bright orange seeds. Has oval, mid-green leaves that turn a brilliant red in the autumn. Height/Spread 3m. Requires sun or semi-shade and any, well-drained soil.
Malus transitoria AGM
A beautiful, elegant, deciduous tree, both in the spring and autumn, with its graceful wide-spreading branches and lobed leaves. A profusion of creamy-white flowers completely engulf the tree in the spring and these are followed in the autumn by masses of rounded, pea-like, pale yellow crab apples that are borne on long stalks. Height 8m/Spread 10m. Requires full sun and any but waterlogged soil.
Having just returned from the garden I just had to add this to my list for autumn colour as it glowed at me from over 100m away. Whilst I am aware that not everybody likes Rhus, due to their suckering habit, this species is fairly well behaved! A rounded, deciduous tree with attractive, pinnate leaves that turn a rich bright red in the autumn and seem to last on the tree for a long time. Height 10m/Spread 8m. Prefers full sun and any moderately fertile, well-drained soil.
Sorbus 'Joseph Rock'
A first-class, deciduous tree, ideal for a small garden, that will stop you in your tracks when in full colour in the autumn with its deep red leaves and large, hanging clusters of pastel yellow berries. An unusual but eye-catching contrast and planted front line in our car park. White flowers in the spring also provide interest. Height 9m/Spread 5m. Requires full sun and well-drained but not too dry soil.
OTHER GARDENS TO VISIT THIS AUTUMN
Visiting an arboretum or botanic garden at this time of year is a great way to experience autumn in all its glory. It is also an ideal way of gleaning planting ideas for your own garden. There are many fabulous places to visit around the country; here are some suggestions:
North WalesBodnant Gardens
CambridgeshireCambridge University Botanic Garden
Scottish BordersDawyck Botanic Garden
Vale of GlamorganDyffryn Gardens
DevonRHS Garden Rosemoor
LondonThe Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
OVERWINTERING DAHLIA TUBERS
Few gardeners, other than those gardening in the milder south, risk leaving their dahlias in the ground overwinter. Dahlias originate from Mexico and our harsh frosts can easily destroy their underground tubers. The foliage on Monty’s tree dahlias have already been blackened by first frosts showing that now is the time to lift and store dahlia tubers. The secret to successfully storing tubers is to not let them dry out completely. Packed into pots or crates and covered with moist compost, vermiculite or sand and placed in a frost free garden shed or cool greenhouse should see them through the winter. In the spring they can be prompted back into growth with water and a little warmth.More on dahlia care
GARDEN VISIT: RHS GARDEN ROSEMOOR
Carol’s visit to RHS Garden Rosemoor in Devon was to see their fantastic collection of hollies; they hold the National Collection.RHS Gardens
There are four RHS gardens around the country, Wisley in Surrey, Harlow Carr in North Yorkshire, Hyde Hall in Essex, and Rosemoor in Devon and a visit to any of these gardens will always be inspiring and rewarding. For more information about these gardens click on the link below:
GARDEN VISIT: ULTING WICK TULIPS NGS
Ulting WickNGS Ulting Wick
Crouchmans Farm Road
If Philippa’s display of tulips inspires action, then now is the perfect time to order and plant your tulip bulbs. If you would like to see Philippa’s tulips for yourself, her next NGS open day will be in April. Click on the link below for details:
PLANTS FOR WOODLAND SITUATIONS
Dry shade is often regarded as a gardening problem area. Whether caused by fences, trees, or buildings the resulting conditions are often the same as those found in woodlands. Monty’s copse has all the early flowering woodland plants like wood anemones, primroses, and bluebells, but once the tree canopy opens and the trees suck the soil dry little else will grow. Monty has decided to change how he tends this area and plans to subtly change the native woodland to that of a gardened woodland and begins by adding plants adapted to dry shade. Monty plants wood spurge, Euphorbia amygdaloides var. robbiae, Geranium macrorrhizum ‘Album’, and the roast beef iris, Iris foetidissima.Plants for dry shade
Dry shade need not be regarded as a problem. Here are some plants that will thrive in dry shade.
Barrenwort. Epimedium x rubrum
Bugle. Ajuga reptans
Brunnera. Brunnera macrophylla
Common polypody fern. Polypodium vulgare
Deadnettle. Lamium maculatum
Hart's tongue fern. Asplenium scolopendrium
Lady’s mantle. Alchemilla mollis
Lily of the valley. Convallaria majalis
Lily-turf. Liriope muscari
Scaly male fern. Dryopteris affinis 'Cristata the King'
Soft shield fern. Polystichum setiferum
Solomon's seal. Polygonatum
Sweet woodruff. Galium odoratum
JOBS FOR THE WEEKEND: REMOVE COLLAPSED FOLIAGE FROM THE CROWNS OF PERENNIALS
Dieback in the borders is well underway, but what to tidy up and what to leave is always a bit of a dilemma. Stems of many herbaceous plants will carry on looking good well into next spring. Seed heads will provide food for birds and wildlife so leaving them is best. But when the fleshy foliage of plants like Sedums and Hostas collapses it is always best to clear them away from the crowns of plants as they can cause rot. Remove the foliage but leave the structural stems.More on cutting back perennials
JOBS FOR THE WEEKEND: CLEAN PATHS
The damp weather of autumn allows algae, liverworts and moss to proliferate. The result - slippery garden paths which are a hazard to you, your family, and anyone else entering your garden. Often a brush-down with a stiff yard-brush will suffice but sometimes it is necessary to treat these hard surfaces with something more effective. There are many proprietary products to choose from, organic or otherwise; whichever you choose, always mix according to the label and apply following the instructions. Cleaning pathways and paved areas may feel like a bit of a chore but better to be safe than sorry.More on cleaning paths
JOBS FOR THE WEEKEND: MULCH RHUBARB
Now that rhubarb stems are beginning to die back now is a good time to apply a mulch. Rhubarb is a gross feeder - the application of a thick layer of either compost or well-rotted manure will feed the soil in preparation for early growth in the spring. It is important to keep the mulch away from the crown tips as this will prevent rot or scorch, should the muck applied be too rich.More on growing rhubarb
BONFIRE NIGHT: HEDGEHOGS
If you’ve been having an autumn tidy up, cutting back, raking debris, and stockpiling prunings and clippings with the intent of having a bonfire, then please do spare a thought for hedgehogs. They are now making nests in preparation for hibernation and may have chosen your bonfire as their ideal winter retreat. Do have a good inspect and put your mind at rest before lighting the blue touch-paper – enjoy your evening!More on hedgehogs
- Monty Don
- Carol Klein
- Rachel de Thame
- Series Producer
- Liz Rumbold