Thursday, 30 October 2014

Glorious Autumn


It's easy in this job to let the wonderful colours of autumn pass you by, as fallen leaves at work are the reason for tired arms, bad backs and general exhaustion. We are averaging between seven to nine tons a week at present, with November pretty much looking like the same.Still, with the dry summer that we have had, and now strong winds and rain, it looks like all of the leaves are going to be down by the start of December for a change. 

It was while Hobie was resting in the living room, that we headed out at the weekend into our own garden to do some much needed tidying up, and I stopped for the first time to fully appreciate some leaf colour, and particularly that of our  Acer japonicum Aconitifolium. We purchased it years ago for a client, but changed our minds on the planting scheme at the last minute and kept it ourselves. Not one of the more commonly seen Acers, it's colour variegation is particularly special, although even here it's just past it's best.


We cleared and burnt plenty, and had a stockpile of wood that took us into the dark evening to get rid of, whereupon we sat on a couple of chairs with some coffee, and just spent a couple of hours watching the flames as we threw the occasional piece of wood on. We chatted about autumn colour, and the simple ways in which nature creates such visual effects, and decided that before we missed it altogether because of work, we should take a day out from all of the brown and dead leaf clearing to go and see some true colour.


We settled once more on Stourhead, about an hour and a half away, and a favourite of ours.


It was a cold day, with a gentle breeze that made all of the trees shiver and shimmer, and we started our day with a walk up the tree lined drive to the house.


We both like to take the odd sneaky shot of each other, and Amanda got me trying to get a good close up of this Acer palmatum.


The main walk takes you around the large central lake, where the trees can be seen in all of there glory.


There are ever changing vistas. We had to stop for a while, as we appeared to have two families with uncontrolled children following us. Don't get me wrong, I love kids, and this is an ideal place for them to play and explore, but they were screaming at each other continually, even when only next to each other, while the oblivious parents were a couple of hundred yards in front enjoying theoir peaceful walk. So we let them get well ahead, and continued on our own peaceful journey.


Eventually, the path leads to a 260 year old grotto, with a wonderful view at water level, and two stunning marble statues inside with small waterfalls. Always a fan of marble statues, provided they are good that is, I was once spoiled by seeing some of Bernini's work at the Borgese Gallery


First this meets the visitor, and a few minutes later there's Neptune in another setting.

video

When it's cold, Stourhead have someone providing basic tea, coffee or hot chocolate in this little cottage half way around the lake. Just a single room, with a flagstone floor, and a roaring log fire at one end, simplicity in itself, and so welcome.


A good place to rest and warm up a little.


The leaf colour and variety is quite staggering.


Even different varieties of Cotinus provide a delicate opaque beauty.


No Amanda, not that way!


Shades of green and yellow.


Pink and red.


And eventually the return path back to the house.


And I did manage to get a shot of that red Acer palmatum at the beginning.


Different shades of shimmering brown.


 We had a good walk, and both felt as though we had once again connected with plants. Tired, we headed to the estate pub called 'The Spread Eagle' for a snifter before making the journey home. We thought the autumnal ivy looked like a flame.


The day had been a welcome respite from the heavy workload, but alas all good things come to an end, and 'another day, another dollar' as they say. It was a wet week, and in the clip below we had just spent three and a half hours clearing leaves in this weather before finally getting in the van to draw breath and head home.

video

It's Thursday now, and the end of another day. I'm doing this, and Amanda has taken up the sofa with her gigantic jigsaw puzzle, and so I had better keep my feet still.

Take care all of you.

16 comments:

  1. Gary, so glad to hear that you're getting out and about. The autumn colours are breath-taking. The acers are wonderful this time of year.

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    1. Good morning Molly,
      It's very easy to just do nothing when the gardening business isn't demanding, but the day out was lovely.

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  2. What a wonderful place to view fall colors! That's one thing beautiful about where you live, so much ancient architecture and loveliness all around.

    Glad you were able to take the time off to do that and thanks for sharing here.

    Love & hugs to you both ~ FlowerLady

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    Replies
    1. Hi Lorraine,
      We zre very fortunate, and never forget it. Two sets of hugs right back at you.

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  3. Am loving your style.....
    That print is a cracker

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    1. Thanks John. The print is a take on Jesus (as if you didn't know) by a cuban artist called Raul Speek who lives in Solva. A genuine and characterful guy indeed!

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  4. I like your firepit. Sure looks like autumn for you. What amazing colors of leaves. Thanks for taking us along on the tour again.

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    1. Hello Sherlock,
      Trying to type and eat my morning toast at the same time at the moment. We do both like a good fire, but rarely have one for some reason.

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  5. Beautiful, Beautiful Fall photos.
    The red leaves over the lake is just outstanding. Lovely ivy on the stone building.

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. Thanks Parsnip. It's a beautiful place to visit at any time of year, but autumn is the best. Take care.

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  6. Autumn is my wife’s favorite time of year. It just reminds me that winter is just around the corner, I really should live some place warm and dry. Loved your walk.

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    1. Hi there Doc,
      Autumn always make me feel good inside as plants are all finally getting a chance to rest themselves.

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  7. Love these photos Gary. Lots of beauty in them!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, you're very kind. Never short of material or inspiration at this time of year.

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  8. A lovely posting, Gary. I do hope that things are progressing well for you health wise.

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    Replies
    1. Good morning Rosemary,
      Thanks. As for the health, all appears to be going well, but test have found a heart defect of spome sort. Crazy world eh?

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