At this time of the year as the summer flowers fade and autumn starts to show its face you can really reap the rewards of planning in advance to ensure that there is plenty of long flowering planting and dedicated autumn colour to keep your garden vibrant right up until the first frosts.
Choosing trees which give a spectacular autumn display is perhaps the easiest way to deliver the seasonal wow factor and visiting gardens which are specifically designed to be enjoyed at this time of year is a great way to pick up ideas to use at home.
We are proud partners of the National Garden Scheme who have a packed schedule of open gardens to book a visit to at this time of year - we have selected just 10 of our favourites:
St Timothee - Maidenhead, Berkshire
This 2 acre country garden regularly features on TV and in the press was voted the overall winner in The Nation’s Favourite Garden competition in 2021. Owner Sarah Pajwani has planted for year-round interest and is giving a talk on Ornamental Grasses and the Autumn Garden on 2nd November.
Model Farm - Bridgewater, Somerset
4 acres of flat gardens surrounding a Victorian country house. Created from a field the garden is planted in cottage garden style with wildlife in mind with wooded areas, mixed orchard, lawns, wildflower meadows and wildlife pond. Plenty of seating throughout the gardens allows you to enjoy a variety of sculptures by Somerset artists.
Saling Hall - Braintree, Essex
Opened for NGS by tree expert Hugh Johnson for many years the garden is now undergoing an ambitious programme of works by new owners and open for the first time since 2011. This special 12 acre Grade II listed garden combines an historic ornamental walled garden with a large surrounding park, predominantly an arboretum full of rare trees, with kitchen garden, orchard, wildflower meadow and water garden; autumn colour is a particular treat here.
Marwood Hill Garden - Barnstaple, Devon
Marwood Hill is a very special private garden covering an area of 20 acres with lakes and set in a valley tucked away in North Devon. From early spring snowdrops through to late autumn there is always a colourful surprise around every turn.
Timber Hill - Chobham Surrey
A popular outing for families this 16 acre garden has majestic woodland with an enticing view to the North Downs and local rural view across Fairoaks Aerodrome. Within the sheltered wood, camellias are in flower during late autumn.
Parvey Lodge - Macclesfield Cheshire
A beautiful privately owned 3 acre garden with different areas to explore. Formal garden, Himalayan Cedar majestically situated at the front of the house, plenty of colourful acer, fruit trees, shaped box hedge, tennis court lawn, rhododendron and camellia, birds and wildlife in late autumn.
Gregynog Hall - Montgomeryshire
The gardens at Gregynog are unrivalled, offering a mixture of formal and woodland walks. The Hall is surrounded by 750 acres of grounds containing many different landscapes including Grade 1 listed formal gardens. A network of colour coded woodland walks weave their way through the estate and give tantalising views of both the hall and Montgomeryshire countryside. Ancient oaks, 300 years old or more, form the Great Wood, designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest for it’s Lichen, whilst magnificent Cedar, Cypress and Copper Beech challenge those found in any Arboretum.
Denmans Garden - Fontwell Sussex
Created by Joyce Robinson, a brilliant pioneer in gravel gardening and former home of influential landscape designer, John Brookes MBE. Denmans is a Grade II registered post-war garden renowned for its curvilinear layout and complex plantings. Enjoy year-round colour, unusual plants, structure and fragrance in the gravel gardens, faux riverbeds, intimate walled garden, ponds and conservatory.
East Ruston Old Vicarage - Norwich, Norfolk
A finalist in the Nation’s Favourite Garden competition this 32 acre garden with traditional borders and modern landscapes includes Walled Gardens, Rose Garden, Exotic Garden, Topiary and Box Parterres, Water Features, Mediterranean Garden, a monumental Fruit Cage, Meadow Gardens, Vegetable and Cutting Gardens, Parkland and Heritage Orchard.
Wild Thyme Cottage - Burton on Trent, Staffordshire
The gardens extend to over 1/3 Acre with a collection of over 120 Japanese Maples with other rare trees and mature White bark Birch trees. Established shrubs including Cornus Kousa and herbaceous perennials and a natural pond. The garden was filmed by the BBC for the Gardeners World programme to show its Acers in autumn colour and is recently featured in UK and European gardening magazines.
If you are planning to visit these or any other NGS Gardens do check their website and book your place in advance - all the money raised goes to supporting their excellent causes.