17 Nov 2013

A Capel Moment: Autumn gold

I don't want to jinx future Thursdays but I'm tempted to say that we've been very lucky with having dry weather on the day I go up to college!  It makes getting out for a walk round the grounds so much more pleasant - and, of course, the colours are more vivid for taking photos!

Being indoors more at this time of year really highlights the beauty of autumn when I can get out so I had two Capel moments this week.  On the way back to the design studio after lunch, the sun popped out momentarily to highlight the beech walk (actually, the trees may not be beech, I'll find out)  - I had to tell the others I'd catch them up as I whipped out my phone for this photo! (Yes, I do tend to lean to the right!)

Autumn afternoon

The second moment was during the ident walk.  Last year, without fail, the class went out every week for a 'plant ident walk'; this is a quick stroll around the grounds looking at and discussing that week's chosen eight plants.  Doesn't sound much, does it?  But by the end of the year, we knew - and, more importantly, could identify - over a hundred and forty plants.

This year, studying 'plants and planting' for Garden Design, the ident walks have been increased to learn ten new plants each week. I'm finding that many of these are old friends from last year but a few of my classmates studied elsewhere before so aren't so familiar with the Capel grounds. It makes me realise, yet again, how fortunate I am to study with access to 35 acres of planting. 

This week we were told there would be only eight plants to learn;  as our tutor put it "there's not a lot going on out there".  Excuse me?  How about this:

Autumn colour!

The gold leaves are an Acer palmatum 'Sango-kaku' - even without the red berries (and I have no  idea which leafless shrub they're growing on!) and the ceanothus flower, the Acer is stunning. Of course, it will all be over in a few weeks but Acers are very slow growing trees so for a small garden this would be ideal for a splash of autumn colour.

The above photo was modified slightly by Instagram, even so here's the tree in situ:

Like having a little bit of sunshine in your garden!


  1. Actually, I really love to see so many pictures about the beauty of autumn and winter. I couldn't see here. Colorful leaves... so wonderful. Thank for sharing

    1. Ah, Endah, thanks! You're very welcome ... and I love to see all the colourful plants growing in your garden!

  2. Beautiful foliage! I have seen so many fabulous Acers in gardens near me this year that I have decided I MUST have one. My plan is to have a miniature one in a large container. BTW, the red berries in your pic look as if they might possibly be Guelder Rose.

  3. That acer is stunning Caro. Long may the weather gods be in a benevolent mood on Thursdays. Only noticed the lean because you pointed it out :) I lean too.

  4. We have a lovely little acer with bright red leaves at the moment. Also I noticed how beautiful the beech hedges were on the plot yesterday.

    I was lucky and used to work at what used to be a mini stately home with ground and beautiful mature trees and gardens - made gong to work a pleasue

  5. What wonderful colours Capels trees have, it must be a delight to walk through their grounds. My Acer Sango-kaku is a much paler yellow than the one you have shown us, in fact it is now a pale buttery yellow, it seems to fade as the days go by. It is in the shade of a big bay bush so can't be fading in the sunshine. Hope Thursdays stay dry for you!

  6. There's so many beautiful colours going on at the moment, and acers certainly come into their own at this time of year. I've never grown them but we were looking at some in the garden centre earlier on this month so I can see a purchase in the future. Regarding my comment on your last post, the variety of rhubarb I've planted is Stockbridge Arrow. A local nursery was closing down in August 2012 and all the plants were reduced to half price so I bought it then. It's been kept in the container until this year when I eventually got it planted out at the allotment, so I'm hoping I'll get a few stems from it next year. I won't take too many just yet for fear of weakening the plant.

  7. Wonderful autumnal colours.
    I really must visit Capel Manor again next year as I've not been for ages.
    Wrap up well this coming Thursday as it looks like being rather cold. Flighty xx

  8. Some delightful autumn images there, you're right about them bringing a splash of sunshine. 35 acres to explore eh? Wow! Lucky you.xxxx

  9. Your maple foilage have beautiful autumn colors this year!! My maples didn't get near the colors you have gotten.

    Bobcat Tail Cam Pictures

  10. It's lovely to see all the golden hues on the leaves at this time of year. It's even more lovely to have a dry autumn to get out and enjoy it :)

  11. Oh, the beech walk is gorgeous. And I love a bit of golden acer, to contrast with all the reds.

  12. Autumn colour is wonderful isn't it? Especially now as there's so much of it going on. And your timing was perfect once again to see such fab display!

  13. I lean too, the "custom rotate" tool gets a lot of use! I adore Sango-kaku, every time I make a choice about something to plant in my back garden I block other options, and I fear I may have prevented myself from planting a second acer, one that turns yellow, by opting for plum trees. But yjey are slow growing, so who knows, I might manage it! I know I can't have a beech walk, but wow, what a gorgeous feature, pleached trees are wonderful living sculpture. And what a fabulous location to learn your way around so many plants.
    PS I have just had a thought about where an acer might fit despite the plum trees, after all, an acer is far ore exciting than a fuchsia that doesn't owe me anything because I inherited dozens of them...

  14. I used to love the walks around the grounds at college. They were nothing like Capel Manor though. That acer is a stunner. You might need your thermals for this Thursday. ;)


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