The leaves are starting to lose the green hues of summer and turn to gold, orange and red. On a sunny day, even the air seems golden, and the berries on the trees and shrubs are starting to stand out from the surrounding foliage, ready for the birds to pick them off in order to fatten up before the winter. Paths and lawns have a scattering of leaves on them, soon it will be a carpet and the Wentworth volunteers will be busy with their annual task of collecting them all up. Watch out for the squirrels - they also will be busy collecting the autumn crop of acorns and burying them in secret hoards for the cold months ahead. It’s a great time to spot fungi too, they love damp, shady places such as the Fernery and Stumpery and underneath the large trees in the wilderness. They may not be as colourful as the spring flowers, they are much more subtle in shade, but the textures and shapes are amazing. Some of them look almost like the growths you see on a coral reef.
There is colour in the gardens, hardy cyclamen, hydrangeas and japanese anemones are showing up well around the conservatory and near Lady Lucy’s Walk. Colour in the conservatory is not just confined to the plants, there is some wonderful foliage too, most notably Tradescantia Zebrina and Begonia rex, both with green purple and cream leaves. Quite a few of our other common house plants are there too, spider plants, gloxinias and streptocarpus. Some are grown for their foliage and some for the flowers, but they were all a novelty when they were first introduced into this country by the plant hunters.
Enjoy the autumn sunshine and look out for the wildlife around you doing the same!