Autumnal colours to behold at Wightwick Manor

A view of the Manor on a sunny day framed by autumnal leaves hanging from a tree

As the garden rolls over into autumn and on towards winter we are treated to the beauty of nature’s celebration of the fruitfulness of the summer.

A natural transformation

The air chills as fruit ripens, seeds disperse, birds feast on berries and the leaves create a palette of red, gold, orange and yellow.

The bright autumnal tones in the gardens at Wightwick reflect the jewelled colours within the Manor - from stained glass to oil paintings, the Pre-Raphaelite artists knew how to use natural colours for inspiration.

" Laden Autumn here I stand, Worn of heart, and weak of hand, Nought but rest seems good to me, Speak the word that sets me free."
- William Morris, 1891

Berries

Berries in the garden provide food for birds and many other creatures. You can enjoy their decorative effect which can often be dramatic. Historically, people have even interpreted the profusion of berries on trees and shrubs as a prediction of the coming winters’ weather.

The purpleleaf vine grows up the western side of the Manor
Colourful berries of the purpleleaf vine on the west end of Wightwick Manor
The purpleleaf vine grows up the western side of the Manor

 

Flowering plants

As late summer flowers die back many other plants have recently come into flower and will continue well into the autumn. There are Asters, Rudbeckia, Hydrangeas, Dhalias, Colchicums and Chelones. They will soldier on until the frosts come and steal their colour.

Whilst it may not be everyone's favourite season as summer draws to an end. The changes we can see in the garden can be dramatic, as green vegetation gives way to the beautiful colours of autumn.

A palette of golds, reds and orange
Looking down to the pools at Wightwick, with a backdrop of autumnal trees
A palette of golds, reds and orange

Roses

Roses have always been a significant element in Victorian and Arts & Craft gardens. The gardens here at Wightwick span these two important aspects of garden design. There are records of 400 roses being planted on a single occasion in the garden in the 1890's!

Roses can be found throughout the garden at Wightwick and have flowered all throughout the summer months. During September, the roses can seem to being to die back, but October sees a resurgence in growth and they can sometimes continue flowering well into the early winter.

Roses - a favourite of the Mander family
A view of the Manor from the South Terrace, with white roses in the foreground.
Roses - a favourite of the Mander family

Seasonal jobs aplenty

Leaf fall means a lot of work, but we can see the ‘structure’ of the garden appear again as we prepare to ‘put the garden to bed’ for the winter.

One of the never-ending jobs of Autumn - raking leaves
Garden volunteers raking autumnal leaves in front of the house at Wightwick Manor
One of the never-ending jobs of Autumn - raking leaves