Garden Portrait: Arley Arboretum

Japanese Acers

What better place to visit in autumn than an arboretum where you can enjoy a stroll through the falling and fallen leaves, enjoy a crisp autumn day and admire the flaming reds and yellows of the Japanese Acers, or the pinks, purples and tangerines of the Liquidambar. The North American maples with their vivid autumn palette of reds, oranges, golds and browns compete with the burnished golds and auburns of ancient oaks and beeches. If you are lucky to find a place with a lake (such as Sheffield Park in East Sussex or Stourhead in Wiltshire) you have the bonus of colours reflected in the water with dazzling effect.


Arley doesn’t have a lake. What it does have is a wonderful view across the Severn Valley in Worcestershire where the Severn Valley Railway runs between Bridgnorth and Kidderminster taking in the lovely countryside. Arley has a fine collection of Acers and their red colour punctuates the rich autumn colours.

Stroll around the grounds and look out for interesting vistas as well as leaf colour and hidden fungi amongst the woodland leaf litter.


Formal plantings, grand water features, a temple and dovecote help make the peaceful walled Italian Garden a very special place within the arboretum. Guinea fowl and chickens run free. Whilst outside the walls the trees of the arboretum rise magnificently towards the sky.

More lovely walks can be found over at my friend Jo’s place.