‘Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness’
As September arrives we feel the warmth of Summer clinging on and Autumn trying to nudge its way in. Fresh mornings, but still hopefully sunny days, are made all the sweeter as the nights start to draw in.
Garden visiting at this time of year is especially relaxing. Lots of the gardens open for the National Garden Scheme in September offer somewhere for a peaceful walk, where you can notice changing leaf colours and the soft sunlight. Highlights also incldue the burgeoning vegetable gardens and fruit on trees; perennial grasses, and autumn-flowering specialities such as michaelmas daisies.
Here are our September suggestions for you to make the most of the glorious spectacle of seasons visibly changing.
At Yewbarrow House, Grange-over-Sands, Cumbria (open 2nd September) we find a colourful 4 acre garden filled with exotic and rare plants, with dramatic views over the Morecambe Bay. Described as ‘More Cornwall than Cumbria’, it is a garden full of surprises.
Down in Devon, Prospect House, Axminster (open 31st August, 1st and 2nd September) is a plantsman’s garden hidden behind high stone walls with Axe Valley views. With well stocked borders and over 200 varieties of salvia, and other late summer perennials including rudbeckia, helenium, echinacea, helianthus, crocosmia and grasses you are promised a riot of late summer colour.
Extra special in September
Townsend Farmhouse, Bedford (open 16th September) is a cottage style garden where hydrangeas, dahlias and asters flourish in September. Or visit Coton Manor Garden, Northampton (open 9th September) where the garden is at its most magnificent in September, and is an inspiration as to what can be achieved in late summer.
In Oxfordshire, Waterperry Gardens, Wheatley (open 16th September) is extensive, well-maintained and full of interesting plants. From The Virgin’s Walk with its shade-loving plants to the long classical herbaceous border, it is brilliantly colourful from late May until Oct.
Orchards, fruit and veg combined with late summer colour
Many gardens will have an abundance of produce throughout September. Penllyn Court (open 2nd September) in Cowbridge, Glamorgan is a large family garden with semi-formal walled garden, orchard with fruit trees and bulbs, vegetable garden, stumpery, mixed plantings of shrubs and herbaceous perennials for all the months of the year and roses.
Moving east towards the midlands, Brockhampton Cottage, Herefordshire (open 2nd September) boasts a beautiful, Tom Stuart-Smith designed hilltop garden with woodland garden and 5 acre wild flower meadow, a Perry pear orchard and in valley below: lake, stream and arboretum.
Described as a hidden oasis off the main Welford Road, Washbrook Allotments, Leicester (open on 2nd September) have over 100 whole, half and quarter plots growing a wide variety of fruit and vegetables and a wildflower meadow.
Staying in the Midlands, Burmington Grange, Warwickshire (open 2nd September) is an interesting plantsman’s garden set in the rolling hills of the North Cotswolds with wonderful views over unspoilt countryside. With a small vegetable garden, beautiful sunken rose garden and herbaceous and shrub borders, a highlight is the orchard and tree walk with unusual trees.
Moving east, Parsonage House, Haverhill, Essex (open 9th September) has 3 acres of formal gardens with mixed borders, topiary, pond, potager and greenhouse. There is a further 3-acre wild flower meadow with orchids and rare trees and a 3 acre orchard of old East Anglian apple varieties in two small fields across the lane.
And Weir House, Alresford, Hampshire (open 9th September) is a spectacular riverside garden with sweeping lawn backed by old walls, yew buttresses and mixed perennial beds. Contemporary vegetable garden at its height in Sept.
Something a little different
At Sussex Prairies in Henfield (open 9th September) you will find an exciting prairie garden of approx 8 acres planted in the naturalistic style using 60,000 plants and over 1600 different varieties. A colourful garden featuring a huge variety of unusual ornamental grasses, you can expect layers of colour, texture and architectural splendour. It is also surrounded by mature oak trees with views of Chanctonbury Ring and Devil’s Dyke on the South Downs.
Bramble Croft, in Keighley, West Yorkshire (open 1st September), is a small hidden hillside artist’s garden full of colour, texture and newly developed borders including perennials, ferns, climbers, grasses, topiary and sculptures.
The Treborth Botanic Garden at Bangor University (open 22nd September) comprises planted borders, species rich natural grassland, ponds, arboretum, Chinese garden, ancient woodland, and a rocky shoreline habitat. Six glasshouses provide specialised environments for tropical, temperate, orchid and carnivorous plant collections, also ideal to nip into during a September shower.
And finally, you probably cannot get more spectacular than the world’s highest gravity fountain at Stanway Fountain and Water Garden, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire (open 23rd September). It also features 20 acres of planted landscape in early 18th Century formal setting. The restored canal, upper pond and 165ft high fountain have re-created one of the most interesting Baroque water gardens in Britain.
There are many other gardens to explore in September. Visit our find a garden page and make the most of bright days and changing seasons.