Be inspired this autumn

Enjoy autumn colour in the woodland garden

Enjoy autumn colour in the woodland garden

Our autumn borders are still full of colour and interest, although the strong winds in August certainly took their toll on some of the taller plants. There's lots to inspire you along the long border and late flowering clematis drapes the walls.

The parterre is still resplendent with colour, but we'll be taking everything out soon to plant thousands of bulbs for spring. The woodland garden is a tranquil haven, filled with unusual plants like toad lilies and alien-looking arisaemas.

Throughout autumn our dahlias are still flowering well until the first hard frost and there's still plenty to inspire you and to enjoy.

What we're up to now

Our gardens team regularly post news of their exploits on our blog.

Take a look to find out what we're doing throughout the year - how we manage the gardens, what's happening behind the scenes and what we'll be doing in the future.

You can find out more on one of our exclusive garden tours and talks.

There are films from the garden team on our YouTube channel too.

Discover more in the gardens

It's not just our visitors who enjoy our gardens © NTPL

It's not just our visitors who enjoy our gardens

  • Stroll round the gardens and find inspiration for late season colour and interest.
  • Listen for birdsong and see which garden birds are hopping about - we've seen goldcrests and wrens.
  • Simply take a seat and enjoy our hard work.
  • Talk to our volunteers about anything that interests you.

Cornish lily

Delightful nerines flower in November along the wall in Green Court © National Trust

Find it at the base of the wall in Green Court.

The sugar pink flowers of Nerine bowdenii look too exotic to be a hardy bulb that flowers in late autumn and early winter.

However, it's completely hardy in a sheltered spot and needs little or no watering in a dry summer.

By spring the strappy foliage will have died down completely so be sure not to disturb the bulbs when planting around them.

Blue lilyturf

Evergreen perennial liriope muscari provides valuable autumn colour  © National Trust

Find it on the long border.

This is a reliable perennial (Liriope muscari) which provides valuable late autumn colour for any situation where it doesn't dry out completely in summer (this can make it reluctant to flower).

It will spread gently but not invasively, and the purple flower spikes are followed by glossy black berries which hold well through winter and the evergreen foliage helps keeps weeds at bay.

Toad lily

Spot these unusual toad lilies in the woodland garden in autumn © National Trust

Find it in the woodland garden.

This unusual plant can be tricky to grow, preferring an acid-to-neutral soil in shade but is otherwise a reliable perennial.

Tricyrtis formosana will certainly be a talking point if you can give it these conditions though (the spotty flowers giving it its common name), so place it at the edge of a border where you can really appreciate it


Virgin's Bower

This yellow-flowered clematis is a delightful late-flowering climber © Mary Gleaves

Find it on the wall of Green Court, by the gates to the left of the house.

Clematis rehderiana is a vigorous hardy evergreen clematis which will need some support if you're growing it up a wall (it can reach around 6m in height). 

However, if you have room for it - happy even on a north wall - you'll be rewarded by delicate yellow bell flowers in autumn and the bees and late butterflies will thank you.


Ornamental millet

Pennisetum glaucum Purple Majesty in the croquet lawn borders © National Trust

Find it along the croquet lawn borders.

Our visitors have been fascinated by this annual grass - Pennisetum glaucum Purple Majesty, to give it its full name.

This exotic-looking annual is easily grown from seed and is happy in containers or to give height and structure in the border in any site or soil. The young plants start off green and turn rich purple as they age. The birds, of course, will love you if you leave the seed heads for them to feed on in autumn.

Winter interest

The gardens are open every day - come and enjoy the fresh air.

Enjoy the frosted sculptural forms in Green Court and look out for the first snowdrops.

The joys of spring

There are scented shrubs to lift your senses all around, and colour from thousands of bulbs in the parterre.

Enjoy the subtle pinks of masses of hellebores in the woodland garden.

Midsummer borders

Colourful bedding and scented purple heliotrope fill the parterre

There's something new in flower every week on the long border and around the croquet lawn.
Be inspired by the shady woodland garden and enjoy the rainbow of colours in the parterre.

The gardens in summer.