Autumn Musings & Knoll Gardens
by Pauline Caroline Jones

As I write this article, the weather has turned and autumn starts to fill the senses. Hedgerows packed with ripe blackberries and sloes are having their annual haircut, while wheat is being harvested giving the countryside a tapestry of neutral colour. The last of the swallows are perched on wires in anticipation of the long flight ahead and swifts' flit across the fields snatching daddy longs legs along their path. Buzzards soar through the thermals screeching into the air and here in the Bride Valley a sea eagle has been spotted, so we're all on sky alert. As the light fades, tawny owls call out to each other and bats sweep along the lanes. Ewes graze in fields waiting for the arrival of the tup and then the cycle of life starts again. 

Waiting for the tup....
Waiting for the tup....

Sea mist in the valley and morning dew herald the start of autumn, a time when ornamental grasses, seed heads, tree bark and berries come into their own. It’s been a funny old year in the garden … to start everything was little late and then suddenly it all happened at once, so it will be interesting to see how the seasons pan out. Fruits are abundant this year and the yellow berries of Pyracantha and Sorbus appear quite striking in the low light.

 The curious fruits of the spindle, Euonymus europaeus ..
The curious fruits of the spindle, Euonymus europaeus ..

A showcase for all thing’s autumn, this is a wonderful time of the year to visit Knoll Gardens, four acres of inspired naturalistic planting filled to the brim with colour, texture and form that extend well through the winter months. Narrow paths wind through a rippling sea of tactile grasses and late flowering perennials under a canopy of specimen and native trees. 

Winding paths...
Winding paths...

Dutch garden designer and plantsman Piet Oudolf pioneered this new approach to gardening by implementing a sophisticated palette of quite delicious herbaceous perennials and grasses, planted in bold drifts. Knoll Gardens has adopted many of these principles and used them to great effect.

Bold rhymical drifts of perennials compete with the scale of mature trees and shrubs ...
Bold rhymical drifts of perennials compete with the scale of mature trees and shrubs ...

Often referred to as the New Perennial Movement, this prairie style of planting continues to be a huge source of inspiration to gardeners, supporting wildlife while encouraging biodiversity, sustainability and ecological compatibility. The Knoll Gardens Foundation is a charity dedicated to researching and promoting the positive benefits of this approach to gardening.

Nature doing its lovely thing ...
Nature doing its lovely thing ...
Michaelmas daisies catching the late afternoon light ...
Michaelmas daisies catching the late afternoon light ...

As I finish this article the leaves have started to turn and the high winds are creating a symphony of grasses in our garden ... it's wonderfully wild out there! With the exception of the sheep, all photos were taken at Knoll Gardens

Whilst visiting Knoll Gardens  why not make a day of it and also visit The Sitting Spiritually Garden, which is only an hour & a half away in Dorset

knollgardens.co.uk

knollgardensfoundation.org

 

Pauline is a garden designer, lecturer, writer and shepherdess ... but that's another story ...

www.paperwhitegardendesign.co.uk

www.littleflockofcurls.co.uk

All photographs by Pauline Jones

 

Posted by Siobhan on November 9th 2021


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