As the days shorten and cool, Harlow Carr erupts with late perennials, grasses and a bonfire of foliage colours
Visitors stroll along Harlow Carr's iconic Main Borders in early autumn. Airy grasses, sedums and burnt orange Heleniums are among the plants ensuring a rich tapestry of colour and texture.
The White Border on the edge of the Kalmia Lawn is filled with choice plants and combinations, including breezy blocks of Anemone x hybrida ‘Honorine Jobert’, Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’, daisy-like Leucanthemella serotina and white-berried Sorbus cashmiriana.
As the days shorten and cool, gold and crimson Acer leaves are a sure sign autumn is on the way. Behind, winter-flowering heather cultivars create carpets of gem-like colour.
By October, the colour contrast has been turned up high! The Main Borders keep going until the first frosts, providing dazzling waves of Persicaria amplexicaulis 'Blackfield', Symphyotrichum 'Coombe Fishacre' and Helenium. The crimson tree in the background is Liquidambar styraciflua.
The Education Garden isn’t just for school groups – explore and you will find the ‘nectar alleys’ where late season plants include Echinacea, Verbena bonariensis and Stipa tenuissima. In the vegetable garden kale and beans are being harvested, and bright orange Miscanthus sinensis ‘Ferner Osten’ echoes the pin oak on the plain beyond.
Be sure to visit the productive garden, where the kitchen garden team are busy harvesting crops including pak choi, hardy salads, carrots, cabbages and parsnips.
Choice trees greet visitors with a firework of foliage colour. Here, oak, hornbeam and Acer platanoides 'Crimson King' make a photogenic display.