RHS Harlow Carr in November


We’re well into Autumn now, with Winter just around the corner and, so it feels anyway, approaching fast. The gardens are still lovely and quite fascinating although of course the constituents of their beauty change all the time. There’s bare earth about the place now, there are plants that are dying back and others that are being cut back ready for the big sleep. There are “wigwams” made from the giant leaves of Gunnera, and there are (a few) yellow and gold autumn leaves left on the ground. Trees are emerging skeletal and architectural from their burden of leaves and, to my eye, becoming more photogenic in the process. And underlying it all is the great inbuilt promise of the natural world – Winter yes, but then comes the Spring. We don’t wish the time away, we enjoy it in its passing, secure in the knowledge and hope of rebirth. I suppose though that the still deeper question is there about the damage that we’re doing to that apparently unending cycle whose defence surely must become our major priority.

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