Here in England we’re just coming to the end of what I think has been the nicest autumn for a long time, crisp sunny days, lovely autumn colour and paths deep with dry leaves to crunch through, never mind that lovely earthy smell of a wood in autumn.
My friend and I decided to take a walk round Thorp Perrow to see what’s left of the autumn colour. Ideally we should have been there a couple of weeks ago but you have to take an opportunity when you can. The acers had almost finished, as had the maples, but there was still a few with their brilliant foliage.
Thorp Perrow is an arboretum just outside Bedale, it’s about an hours drive from here through very pretty countryside. My mum and I used to pop in fairly regularly as she had a cottage up in Wensleydale so on a nice day we would detour to Thorp Perrow for a half hour stroll on our way home. In those days there was just an honesty box, now there is a cafe, plant shop and an entry fee of £8.70, so the days of popping in for a short stroll are long gone, but it’s well worth a special visit. In the spring there’s the daffodils, then the bluebells, cherry blossom, magnolias…there’s always something to see!
The arboretum was started in the 1930’s by Sir Leonard Roper but many trees date back to much earlier. There is one magnificent oak tree which was reputedly planted by Catherine Parr, one of Henry VIII’s many wives. It looked stunning today, reflecting it’s golden foliage in the water in front of it.
It was a sunny but cold day, my friend wore a hat I made her last night, I made it from camel and navy fleece, one inside and one outside, so as well as being super cosy, it’s also reversible! I’m really pleased with it, I think I’m going to make myself one as well. It’s a pattern by Emma Garry who is a local designer, based just up the road in Ilkley. I made a few up in cotton and linen in the summer which went together really well. When I met Emma in her shop she mentioned it’s nice made up in tweeds too, so I think I’ll be making a few winter hats too!
I love looking at trees, their foliage, bark, just their shapes fascinate me. We did comment on the way round that it takes a special person to plant an arboretum, to have that vision of the future, working so hard on something you will never see come to fruition so future generations can enjoy it. It reminded me of a quote by Thomas Fuller I wrote in my Winnie the Pooh book years ago;
He who plants a tree loves others beside himself