Despite persistent rain a highly informative talk was given by Mark Flanagan, Keeper of the Gardens, at a recent visit by the Surrey Group to Savill Garden in Windsor Great Park.
The Crown Estate, which includes Savill Garden along with the adjacent Valley gardens, holds 9 National Plant Collections ranging from Rhododendron spp. to Prunus incisa. Savill Garden shows large scale planting at its best, with impressive historical plantings such as multi stemmed Podocarpus to newer introductions from around the world. Around the water there were swathes of Gunnera, coppiced willow and hardy ferns. New additions to the garden include a rose garden designed to highlight the colour and scent of roses.
According to Mark the colours this autumn are not the best on record, but a number of trees particularly the Acer were displaying bright greens through to yellows and onto deep reds contrasting with almost black bark.
Indeed in some cases the rain enhanced the colours on show, particularly the bark of Arbutus.
Of particular note was the Sassafras albidum, a native of eastern North America, showing a lovely range of greens, yellows and reds. Interestingly there are three different shapes of leaves on this tree – unlobed elliptical leaves, two-lobed leaves, and three-lobed leaves as shown below.The wild fowl really enjoyed the rain!
Savill Garden is well worth a visit so thanks very much to Mark Flanagan and to the Surrey group for an interesting visit. Sadly the autumn colours will not last long as colder weather is forecast….