Gardens, Planting Design

Autumn Fire

One shaft of intense autumnal sunlight is all that it takes to set the garden on visual fire, especially when the garden is planted prairie-style, jam packed with vibrant perennials and golden grasses. The results can be fleetingly spectacular – even biblical!

Autumn in the Floral Labyrinth at Trentham Gardens

Meandering through the maze of paths in the Floral Labyrinth at Trentham Gardens I was stopped in my tracks by the sight of a ‘burning bush’ ahead. The bush turned out to be a deciduous grass, Panicum virgatum  ‘Shenendoah’ or Switch Grass, which transforms in early autumn from the steely green-blue of summer to vibrant shades of red, violet and purple.

The golden glow of Panicum virgatum Shenendoah

Add a dash of warm, late afternoon sun to the already mellow and moody colour palette and the attention-grabbing effect is complete – a real life ‘burning bush’.

Photography in the Floral Labyrinth at Trentham Gardens

Planting Design, Wildflowers

Impressionist Garden

The annual wildflower meadow at Trentham Gardens in Staffordshire reached an autumn crescendo last week: swathes of red and yellow Coreopsis, dotted with blue cornflowers, white umbellifers and statuesque Red Orach, combining to create a rich tapestry of colour and texture.

Wildflower meadow at Trentham Gardens

The overall view was reminiscent of the great paintings of the Impressionist period – a sea of coloured dots sparkling in the late afternoon light. Breathtaking!