CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Hertfordshire Life today CLICK HERE

Where to see stunning autumn colours in Hertfordshire

PUBLISHED: 11:18 11 November 2016 | UPDATED: 13:07 15 November 2016

Autumn foliage colour

Autumn foliage colour

Archant

Nature’s stunning display of vibrant colour is upon us as trees change into their dazzling autumn mantle. Philippa Pearson discovers the best places in Hertfordshire to see autumn colour and top trees for your own garden

Berries at the Beale ArboretumBerries at the Beale Arboretum

West Lodge Park, Hadley Wood

Trees that give year-round interest from shape, bark and foliage to flowers and fruit make a great focal point in the garden. If you have room, plant several different specimens together and include trees that give dramatic autumn colour. Maples tick this box – their attractively-shaped leaves turn fiery shades of crimson and red in the last months of the year. Good maples to try in smaller gardens include Acer griseum ‘Paper bark maple’, which has peeling cinnamon coloured bark, while Acer davidii ‘Snake bark maple’, has attractive green and white striped bark.

Acers are key players in the autumn display at the Beale Arboretum at West Lodge Park in Hadley Wood. Set in parkland around the country house hotel, the arboretum was established in 1963 by Edward Beale. He had a passion for trees and was encouraged to add to the existing tree collection by Derek Honour, who was trees advisor to the then Greater London Council, and Frank Knight, former director of RHS Wisley garden. 
There are more than 800 trees in the collection, which is situated in 35 acres of woodland and grounds, and includes the National Plant Collections of hornbeams, carpinus betulus, and swamp cypress taxodium distichum as well as many species of trees from around the world. There’s also a pinetum with a collection of different conifers including some rare and unusual specimens.

The London clay soil suits hornbeam and their leaves look stunning as they take on autumnal hues. Another must-see for seasonal colour at the arboretum are liquidambar styraciflua or ‘Sweet gum tree’, which has spectacular rich crimson leaf colour and corky bark. Look out for the stunning huge liquidambar styraciflua ‘Worplesdon’ by the front of the hotel. Rich red foliage also comes from two North American trees, the red oak quercus rubra and scarlet oak quercus coccinea, while the mountain ash and rowan have brilliant red berries as well as colourful leaves. Over the past few years, some areas of the arboretum and woodland shrubbery borders have been renovated, with some older shrubs removed and areas replanted. This includes new plantings of various cornus dogwoods, and plants in this area are now maturing well. Dogwoods have excellent autumn foliage colour as well as interesting stems, and the collection includes many unusual species.

Beech leaves in autummnBeech leaves in autummn

Myddelton House, Bulls Cross

The gardens at Myddelton House at Bulls Cross in the Lee Valley Regional Park were created in the 19th century, but owe the present layout to horticulturalist, plantsman and garden writer E.A. Bowles who transformed them in the early 20th century. Bowles lived at Myddelton House from 1865-1954 and dedicated much of his life to recreating the gardens with his love of unusual and exotic plants. The gardens have recently been restored, reopening in spring 2011, following a two-year Heritage Lottery Fund enabled project. Enjoy the arboretum in depths of autumn and take time to visit the restored areas in other parts of the garden too.

Capel Manor, Enfield

Nearby to Myddelton House, the 30-acre estate at Capel Manor, which dates to the late 13th century, has a magnificent display of autumn colour. As well as a woodland walk, visitors can enjoy autumn colour in many of the themed gardens on the site which offer lots of planting ideas for smaller garden spaces.

Enjoy a nightime garden visit in BusheyEnjoy a nightime garden visit in Bushey

Falconer Road, Bushey

For something completely different, there’s a night-time November garden opening in Bushey where a small 140ft garden has thousands of tiny lights sparkling and twinkling in every space. This enchanting garden is packed full of plants and features and is an absolutely charming and inspiring space.

Five garden trees for autumn display

Liquidambar leaves in autumnLiquidambar leaves in autumn

Betula utilis var. jacquemontii

The Himalayan birch has dazzling-white bark all year round, long catkins in spring and the deep green foliage turns buttery yellow in autumn. Height: 18m.

Cornus kousa var. chinensis

The spreading branches have showy white bracts in early summer and stunning orange, bronze and crimson foliage in autumn. Height: 6m.

Take time to enjoy autumn leaves close upTake time to enjoy autumn leaves close up

Crataegus persimilis ‘Prunifolia Splendens’

Large glossy leaves turn brilliant orange-red in autumn. White flowers in spring are followed by scarlet red fruits lasting through autumn. Height 10m

Liquidambar styraciflua ‘Worplesdon’

The glossy star-shaped leaves of the sweet gum tree turn a vibrant red and scarlet in autumn. Height: 25m.

Malus ‘Evereste’

One of the best crab apples for spring blossom followed by red-orange-yellow fruit and good autumn foliage colour. Height: 7m.

Visit an autumn garden

The Beale Arboretum

West Lodge Park

Hadley Wood EN4 0PY

020 8216 3900

bealeshotels.co.uk/westlodgepark/the-hotel/arboretum

The arboretum is usually open from 2-5pm Mon-Fri. A small admission charge payable at reception. Check opening times before travelling.

Myddelton House Gardens

Bulls Cross

Enfield EN2 9HG

03000 030 610

info@leevalleypark.org.uk

Open 10am-dusk daily except Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

Capel Manor Gardens

Bullsmoor Lane

Enfield EN1 4RQ

capelmanorgardens.co.uk

Open Nov-Feb weekdays only, 10am-5pm. Last ticket 3.30pm. Closed Christmas Day to New Year.

42 Falconer Road

Bushey WD23 3AD

Open for the National Garden Scheme, Sat Nov 5, 4-8pm. Admission £3, children free. Light refreshments available.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hertfordshire visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hertfordshire staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hertfordshire account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Homes & Gardens

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Listed for its architectural and historical importance, this mansion is for sale through Strutt and Parker

Read more
November 2018
Monday, October 8, 2018

A 16th century farmhouse gave a father and daughter the chance to both fulfil childhood dreams

Read more
October 2018
Wednesday, September 26, 2018

As we head into Autumn, the change in season is all around us. From the leaves on the trees turning burnt orange and fiery red, to dark mornings and nights bookending our days. As we put the clocks back an hour to battle the darkness, here’s some top tips on how you can keep your home warm and costs down this Autumn.

Read more
Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Nine bedroom Georgian country house for sale

Read more
September 2018
Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Ten years in the making, this remarkable home in the former orchard of St Albans Cathedral is as bespoke as a property can be. It had Grand Designs’ Kevin McCloud reeling

Read more
September 2018
Friday, August 31, 2018

Rural energy provider, Calor, gives some top tips for homeowners wanting to make their houses cosy and warm in time for the colder months.

Read more
Tuesday, August 7, 2018

How to tackle one of the most invasive plant species in the UK has resulted in innovative solutions, writes Charlotte Hussey of Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust

Read more
August 2018

Owned by the same family for generations on the historic Moor Place estate at Much Hadham, Yew Tree House and its current remarkable owner are full of stories

Read more
August 2018
Monday, July 30, 2018

Buy a raffle ticket and you could be the owner of your own manor house

Read more
August 2018

In an idyllic little world of its own, inspirational eco-home Thrift Cottage in Burnham Green shows that living with nature can come, well, naturally

Read more
July 2018

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy



Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Local Business Directory

Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search