Now exhibiting the full range of tints and shades of autumn, the Gardens’ deciduous canopy is here to be appreciated. With the weekend clock change make full use of the shortening days by taking a walk through one of our four gardens. There is a one hour window as dusk falls when the low light at this time of year intensifies the colours in the garden lifting the perception of the plants.
With the dry and often still weather pattern experienced this autumn we have to date raked no leaves at all. The past seven weeks have seen 36.3mm of rainfall compared with 94.1mm in the corresponding period last year. There are deep collages of colour forming on the lawns. Observe the carpet of leaves directly beneath the outstretched canopies. These contrast with those of the neighbouring tree producing a mosaic of colour.
One to look out for is Phellodendron lavallei, characterised by the graceful shape of the wide spreading canopy. A Wilson introduction, the Garden obtained the seed indirectly from Sir John Stirling Maxwell (1866 – 1956) who sponsored several plant hunting expeditions after establishing a garden at Corrour Lodge on the banks of Loch Ossian
Harvard University library has scanned many of Ernest Wilson’s diaries and documents. These are available on the web. His handwritten collection notes of May 17th – December 9th 1917 lists a Phellodendron collected in Japan on this, his sixth expedition to the Far East during the years 1917 – 19.