I love visiting Croft (Herefordshire). There are nice walks around the parkland and even longer walks through the woodland or up to the iron-age fort at Croft Ambrey. My main reason for visiting though is to see what is going on in the walled garden and have a stroll through the ancient trees. The walled garden lies behind the castle and slopes gently uphill towards the old glasshouse which is currently being renovated.
Every time I visit I see new additions and improvements and this month (late October) I was surprised to see the vineyard looking very well established. We have been here before – last time in spring – when the frogs in the pond were feeling frisky. But let’s have a look at the beauty found here in late autumn.
Not only are there the expected browns and greys and tawny swathes of grasses and seed-heads, the fading greens and yellows of dying foliage, but unexpected pops of vibrant colour. Rudbeckia, verbena bonariensis, chrysanthemums, sedum, the stunning autumn colour of Rhus typhina (stags horn tree) and the hot splashes of the glory vine tumbling over the old red-brick and creeping through the denuded foliage.
Borders are still full of flowering annuals such as the sweet-peas, roses, dramatic hardy autumn flowering lilies (N. bowdenii) and deep crimson thistles usually seen in July and August.
Not many were taking advantage of the deck-chairs and elegant benches scattered around the garden, it was a little too chilly for simply sitting, and on the day that the clocks went back, it would soon be dusk. But the lady by the pond is still relaxed. And I will leave you with a bench I rather fancied.
More lovely walks can be found over at my friend Jo’s place.