Tuesday 29 September

Already this week the gardens have basked in glorious sunshine and fought drizzle and overcast skies. With the unsettled weather it is a joy to walk around the tranquil paths here at Sheffield Park and watch the beginnings of autumn unfold.

Currently around the estate, the greens and vibrant yellows are taking centre stage surrounded by bursts of bright reds - predominantly provided by our many acer trees. Even a short walk around the lakes allows for a world of colour. Find out about some of our favourite sights this week...

Golden larch (Pseudolarix amabilis)

Pseudolarix amabilis (golden larch) at Sheffield Park in autumn
Pseudolarix amabilis (golden larch) at Sheffield Park in autumn
Pseudolarix amabilis (golden larch) at Sheffield Park in autumn

One of the most dramatic trees at this time of year can be found at the bottom of Aucklandii Walk. The Pseudolarix amabilis  - or golden larch - is a suitable showstopper as you head back up to reception after a peaceful walk around the gardens. 

The golden larch is not a true larch, hence the botanical name Pseudolarix, or false larch.  The species originates from eastern China where it is listed as vulnerable on The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. It is therefore very rare in the wild and occurs in a few remnants of primary forest on isolated mountains. There is just one specimen of this tree in Sheffield Park.

Acers

Looking up at the acers. Near the reception at Sheffield Park, East Sussex
Looking up at the acers. Near reception at Sheffield Park
Looking up at the acers. Near the reception at Sheffield Park, East Sussex

With 240 specimens in the garden, the acer trees are one of our key autumn species - enduringly popular with visitors, staff and volunteers. With such diversity comes a huge range of colours from lime green to deep dusky red. Do take a moment to look up for the most dramatic and unusual views. 

This photo was taken near the reception on the walk way down to Ten Foot Pond.

 

Spindle (Euonymus europaea)

Fruits on a Spindle tree (Euonymus europaea) during autumn at Sheffield Park
Fruits on a Spindle tree (Euonymus europaea) during autumn
Fruits on a Spindle tree (Euonymus europaea) during autumn at Sheffield Park

For a small tree the Euonymus europaea or spindle makes a big statement during this early part of autumn. The clashing pink and orange fruits have ripened and are particularly striking and alien-like. This tree is on the walk down from reception to Ten Foot Pond. 

In other news...

The long-awaited day has arrived. Our Coach House tea-room is now re-opened serving a selection of cakes, sandwiches and a limited hot food menu of soup and one pots. Come on in!

Woman holding takeaway hot drink

Eating and Shopping at Sheffield Park

*Please note this is an old page relating to COVID opening* Our Coach House tea-room is open 10am - 4pm, serving a selection of cakes, sandwiches and a limited hot food menu of soup and one pots. The seating area is re-open and to ensure social distancing we have removed many of the tables. The Shant in the gardens is also open for takeaways.

Our shop and Plant Sales Area have now re-opened selling a wide array of Christmas gifts, homeware, plants and National Trust favourites.