Explore autumn at Powis
As the cooler air arrives, see the garden come alive in a dazzling array of reds, yellows, burnt oranges and golds. Explore the Terraces’ borders brimming with Salvias, Sedums, Asters and Aconites, enjoy the crisp sound of leaves crunching beneath your feet in the Wilderness, and take in the sweet aroma of ripe fruit coming from carefully trained apple trees in the Formal Garden. There’s plenty to discover at Powis this autumn.
Powis Castle Garden Kiosk
Collect your entrance ticket from the Ticket Office and enter the garden. Follow the path and take a left turn onto the Top Terrace. Pause to admire the bright red berries of the Cotoneaster on your right before continuing along the path which affords great aerial views across the garden, Severn Valley and Breidden Hills.
On your left is the Tropical border. These plants, grown in our nursery’s glass houses, are planted out in the early summer and they reach their dramatic peak in autumn before the arrival of the first frosts. In the background, you’ll see a large-leafed vine growing on the wall which glows bright red orange and yellow in autumn.
At the end of the terrace, take the set of steps on your right down to the Aviary Terrace. On your right, take a moment to admire the 18th Century statues of dancing shepherds adorning the balustrade before taking the next flight of steps down to the Orangery Terrace. At the bottom of the steps, pass across the front of the Orangery and continue between the parallel borders ahead of you.
This parallel border, known as the ‘Cool Border’, flowers with blues, pinks and lilacs from early summer through to the first frosts of autumn. As you enter the border notice the Pampas grass on your left which gives shape and structure to the border from September to February. As the season progresses watch as birds collect food from the many seed heads and admire the silhouettes of delicate spider webs which glisten in the autumn mist.
Continue through the gap in the box hedge at the end of the border and take the first path on your left, opposite the peacock statue. As you do so, note the Sumac trees (Rhus typhina) on your left which have leaves that transform into a brilliant show of reds, oranges and yellows at this time of year.
With a planted border on your left and numerous Japanese maples, dogswoods and smokebushes (Cotinus coggygria) on your right, the Lower Terrace has plenty to offer during autumn. In the border notice Rosehips, Japanese anemones and the stunning Beauty Berry (Callicarpa bodinieri) with its colourful violet berries. On your right see clumps of purple autumn crocus (Colchicum autumnale), the papery chestnut-brown bark of the Paperback Maple (Acer griseum), and take in the sweet smell of burnt sugar coming from the decomposing leaves of the Cercidiphyllum japonicum. Towards the end of the terrace, notice the small but vividly coloured Sweet Gum (Liquidambar styraciflua).
At the end of the terrace, descend the flight of steps on your right and at the bottom turn left into the Formal Garden. Follow the path straight ahead and at the end turn right to continue past our holiday cottage, The Bothy, which was once home to many of Powis’ Edwardian gardeners. Built in 1908, this black and white half-timbered house was designed to reflect the rustic cottage garden theme that was popular at the time. Continue straight on and take the next path on your right. As you do so take a moment to notice the different vines climbing up the arch which glow with autumn colour.
As you walk through the Formal Garden admire the carefully trained apple trees which were planted by Lady Violet, wife of the 4th Earl of Powis in 1911. Take in the sweet aroma for the different varieties of fruit ripening and if you’re lucky you may even find some for sale by the Garden Coffee Shop. All produce donations support projects in our garden, keeping Powis special forever, for everyone.
At the end of the path, you’ll see the Garden Coffee Shop ahead of you, perfect if you want to warm up with a hot drink and slice of cake before continuing into the Wilderness, Powis’ formal woodland. Keep the Garden Coffee shop on your left and continue along the path for just a few meters before taking the flight of steps up towards the Great Lawn. At the top take the first path on your left and continue into the woodland via the set of shallow steps. As you continue to the view point, notice the cherry tree with its beautiful autumn foliage on your right.
Take a moment to enjoy the iconic view of the castle across the Great Lawn which is made even more spectacular by the dazzling show of autumn colour on the slope below the Lower Terrace. Afterwards, walk across the grassy area behind you and past the giant stone vase before turning right. Continue through the woodland on this path, following the perimeter of the garden.
As you make a right turn, you’ll see a plantation of hazelnut trees ahead of you and you might once again smell the sweet scent of burnt sugar coming from another Cercidiphyllum japonicum. Close to these trees, you’ll see the orange glow of the Nyssa sylvatica which is one of the most colourful trees in the woodland during autumn. As you continue along the path, don’t miss the vibrant yellow of the Tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera) too.
Continue to follow the path around the perimeter of the garden, taking the left path at any points where the path forks. As you walk, stop to take in the spectacular autumn views across the Severn valley towards Corndon Hill with the Long Mynd behind.
As you reach the corner of the garden follow the path round to the right. Notice the bright autumn foliage of the various birch trees with their white stems and further along the path, the unusual trunk of the Snakebark maple. Before taking a left at the fork, notice the Coastal redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens) stretching up seemingly to the heavens.
These particular Redwoods were very early plant introductions to Great Britain dating from around the 1860’s. Their special bark is resistant to forest fires in their native California where they can live for 1000 years.
As you approach the Ice House, take a moment to look up high and see the burnt orange foliage of the Southern Beech (Nothofagus alpina) tree. Make your way around the pond whilst enjoying the reflections of autumn on the water’s surface and on the far side by the fence, look out for the Cryptomeria japonica 'Elegans' with foliage that transforms into deep bronze. Continue round the pond and up the slight incline until you see the large gate on your left. Here the path splits and the steepest will take past the vibrant yellow Ginko tree with its unusual shaped leaves.
Continue back to the Garden Kiosk which you'll see on your left.
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