The gardens at East Riddlesden Hall

A view of East Riddlesden Hall from the garden during late September

Enjoy the changing colours of the garden as autumn arrives at East Riddlesden Hall. From late-flowering plants in the gardens to an abundance of apples on the trees, there's lots to discover on a visit.

Autumn in the garden

Shades of bronze, orange and gold appear on the trees which contrasts with the bursts of yellow and purple. Late flowers such as asters, verbena, rudbeckia and heleniums take centre stage and provide a show of colours amongst the borders.

As you wander around this open space, you might see our friendly gardening team preparing for winter. There’s lots of dead-heading and weeding to be done in autumn, as well as leaf-litter to collect for compost. The green lawns are given their autumn feed and scarifying will remove some of the dead grass, making sure the lawns are looking their best for next year. They also make a start on some of the spring planting, getting bulbs ready for next year.

In autumn you'll see volunteers hard at work, preparing the garden for winter
A volunteer working in the garden during autumn, collecting leaves for mulch
In autumn you'll see volunteers hard at work, preparing the garden for winter

Fruit trees are laden with apples, pears, figs and cherries which ripen throughout the harvest season. Look out for baskets and bags of these natural treats, which can be picked up and sampled on a visit.

The wild garden

The wild garden takes on a meadow feel during the autumn months, yet a few splashes of colour can still be seen amongst the stripped back sea of green. There are plenty of places to sit and relax in this quiet space, which is the perfect place to relax, listen to birdsong and watch the world go by.

A secret tunnel will take you through the trees to the Discovery Garden, a wild play space which is the perfect place for the little ones to run off some steam.

Lower fields and riverside walk

On the lower fields, vibrant greens have faded into softer yellows. Colourful leaves drop from the trees and carpet the grass with a variety of shades.

As the vegetation begins to die back, ready for a winter’s rest, the river becomes more visible once more. Nesting birds move on to warmer climates, leaving the autumn berries for the garden birds that venture down to this open space.

Winter in the garden

The garden takes on a bit more of a stripped back appearance in winter, with the structure of the hall shining through. Challenge yourself to find beauty in the garden at a time of year when nature could easily be overlooked. 

Robins are regular visitors to the gardens in winter
A robin on some green foliage
Robins are regular visitors to the gardens in winter

During the winter, plant life in the herbaceous border is sleeping, preparing for a dramatic return in spring.

As the foliage disappears, the blackened walls of East Riddlesden Hall create drama within the landscape. The architecture of the hall and garden takes centre stage, with old walls clothed in ivy adding some greenery to the view. The outline of trees create a contrast again the winter sky and a covering of frost transforms even the most simple features into something magical.

The gardens at this time of year are more peaceful than ever, making it the perfect place to wrap up and blow away the cobwebs during those long midwinter weeks. Listen for robins singing loudly from the treetops and see if you can spot these friendly garden birds hopping from branch to branch.

In late winter, snowdrops give the sign that winter is about to break its spell. Look out for early shoots pushing their way through the thawing ground to let you know that spring is on its way.