Food, Days Out and Travel stories from Brighton, London and the Rest of the World

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Autumn colours at Wakehurst in Sussex

Finding the perfect moment to enjoy autumn colour can be like working out when an avocado has become perfectly ripe. Leave it too long and they both turn to mush, time it just right and you'll be delighted that you did.


Autumn colours at Wakehurst in Sussex, photos by Sarah Agnew Modernbricabrac


That said, the chances of finding the right time to enjoy autumn colour are, I’d say, massively improved if you plan to go to Wakehurst. With over 500 acres of woodland, garden and meadow to explore, separated into a phytogeographic planting system, it means every time you go, you’re likely to see the woodlands and meadows anew.


Autumn colours at Wakehurst in Sussex, photos by Sarah Agnew Modernbricabrac


Up in the High Weald of West Sussex, where the Ardingly sandstone covers the side of Bloomers Valley, a cacophony of russets, ambers, golden yellows and warm brown leaves lies on top of the valley like a great patchwork blanket.


Autumn colours at Wakehurst in Sussex, photos by Sarah Agnew Modernbricabrac


As we headed down a steep hill we found a nursery of recently planted monkey puzzle trees, a hundred and fifty in number. They had been collected from Chile by the Wakehurst horticulturists, in order to preserve them, now that they have become endangered in the wild. Apparently, the monkey-puzzle seed cannot be stored (known as recalcitrance) in the Millennium Seed Bank and so it can only be protected by being planted.

For little ones, we discovered the joy of picking up different coloured leaves, twigs and lichen, and placing them in the microscopic tub that comes with the Wakehurst explorer pack for kids. As an adult it became a tangible way of slowing down and reconnecting with the touch and smell of autumn. A process of drawing closer to the natural world that felt so restorative and elemental that I think it should be formalised into a new form of healing therapy.

As my little friend jumped from log to log along the tree trunk trek and carefully selected from the ground fallen leaves and twigs, we forgot about time for a while as we twisted this way and that through the trees and along unfamiliar paths.

We also found a sign and lanterns hanging from a tree that was a reminder of treats to come. The Glow Wild winter lantern trail is set to return to Wakehurst at the end of 22 November and it's a wonderful event with music and light shows with a chance to end the night with toasted marshmallows over an open fire.

If you're looking for some autumn colour this November, then Instagrammable Wakehurst with its golden ferns, gardens, woodlands, meadows and tree trunk trek for kids should be on your list. Thanks to Wakehurst for inviting us to join them to find some autumn colour, we received free entry and parking but have not been paid for this post.


Autumn colours at Wakehurst in Sussex, photos by Sarah Agnew Modernbricabrac


#GlowWild #winter #lanterntrail #wakehurst #findthecolour #larch #birch #beech #oak #redwood #gingko #dogwood #treetrunktrek #explorerrucksack #lichen #autumnatwakehurst

Find Wakehurst on Facebook @wakehurst.kew 
Instagram @wakehurst_botanic_garden
www.kew.org/wakehurst



Autumn colours at Wakehurst in Sussex, photos by Sarah Agnew Modernbricabrac

Autumn colours at Wakehurst in Sussex, photos by Sarah Agnew Modernbricabrac

Autumn colours at Wakehurst in Sussex, photos by Sarah Agnew Modernbricabrac

Autumn colours at Wakehurst in Sussex, photos by Sarah Agnew Modernbricabrac


Autumn colours at Wakehurst in Sussex, photos by Sarah Agnew Modernbricabrac

Autumn colours at Wakehurst in Sussex, photos by Sarah Agnew Modernbricabrac


Autumn colours at Wakehurst in Sussex, photos by Sarah Agnew Modernbricabrac

Autumn colours at Wakehurst in Sussex, photos by Sarah Agnew Modernbricabrac


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