Asters and autumn colour in Upton’s Garden

Close up photograph of a bed of purple Asters

Upton’s gardens cover 32 acres of woodlands, water, lawns, terraced borders and a kitchen garden. There’s variety to see all year round, and several highlights in the autumn.

Although the gardens are looking less pristine this year, you’ll still see glorious colours in early September. On the upper terraces shrubby Salvias - La Luna and Hot Lips – provide shades of yellow and red, together with the firery Kniphofia ‘Toffee Nosed,’ with its tall poker-like spires. Cooler colours - blue and white – come from Agapanthus albiflorus ‘Sandringham’ and A. umbellatus ‘Windsor Castle’, protected by the red brick wall behind. 

Full of pollinating insects and butterflies, the naturalised shrub bank also contains various and changing colours.  You’ll see the autumn herbaceous plantings - the deep blues and purples of the Aster, Symphyotrichum and Chrysantheums - complemented by swaying clumps of grasses and old climbing roses

As summer turns to Autumn, you can see the changing colour of the trees, including Upton’s five mature cedars planted around 1680. They tower over the South Lawn, magnificent; the distinctive shape of the first-introduced cedars of Lebanon, Cedrus libani.  We believe they were planted in the parkland surrounding the original house, perhaps to divide the garden from the parkland or to screen off the distant farmhouse and preserve an unspoilt vista. How much they will have witnessed over their long and continuing lives.  

Wander back to the restaurant via the orchard path, where you can see the variety of different fruits ripening for the table, as well as interesting birds such as spotted fly catchers and green woodpeckers. The woodland walk leads from the restaurant to the car park and is a great way to start or end your visit to the garden.

The autumn colour of the trees looks stunning
View over Upton's garden to the autumn colour in the trees behind the garden
The autumn colour of the trees looks stunning

Please note, things may be a little different when visiting this year. Usually the garden team of 7 staff and 22 volunteers would spend a whopping 15,500 hours maintaining Upton’s high standards. Last year because of Covid-19, our Head Gardener managed the garden singlehandedly for 5 months whilst the rest of the team were furloughed or shielding, and our volunteers were asked to stay at home. Thankfully we now have the team back on board, but there is much more work to be done……