Head Gardener's Pick

Throughout October witness a stunning spectacle as plants are ablaze with autumn colour. Admire the many differing leaf shapes of the specimen trees as they continue to turn to eye-catching colours. Fruits abound offering texture and curiosity. Grasses rustle in the breeze. There is so much to see all over the garden but here are the top five plants to look out for throughout October.

The fruit of the sweet chestnut is wrapped in a spiky green case

Sweet chestnut, Castanea sativa

A deciduous tree with great texture - grooved bark and spiny fruits with edible chestnuts. You can find these beautiful trees in Nursery Wood and the Fernery, as well as along Blind Walk, Cedar Walk and Winter Walk.

Fagus sylvatica 'Asplenifolia' - Fern leaved beech at Kingston Lacy

Fern leaved beech, Fagus sylvatica 'Asplenifolia'

A majestic deciduous tree dating from 1820s, with deeply cut leaves turning gold. Stand beneath its spreading bough. You can find this tree on the South Lawn at Kingston Lacy.

Metasequoia glyptostroboides - Dawn redwood

Dawn redwood - Metasequoia glyptostroboides

Not all conifers are evergreen! These needles turn a rusty-orange hue before dropping. It’s one of several conifers that shed foliage in autumn. You can find this tree in Nursery Wood.

Japanese cedar at Kingston Lacy

Japanese cedar - Cryptomeria japonica ’Elegans’

An evergreen conifer that offers something different - bronze tinged foliage with distinctive thread-like needles, arranged in spirals around hanging branchlets. You can find this tree in the Japanese Garden.

Horse-chestnut leaves and conkers in September at a National Trust property

Horse chestnut - Aesculus hippocastanum

A tactile plant - shiny brown conkers emerge from spiny shells in autumn. In spring the new buds are sticky to touch. You can find this tree in Cedar Park and North Avenue.