Wisley Alpine Log
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Wisley's Alpine Log
By Paul Cumbleton

Log 21 9th October 2008

Cool nights and clear skies have resulted in autumn mists. Wandering up through the rock garden in the early morning, my eye is caught by plants that have been coated with this moisture and then lit up like beacons as the sun strikes them. The leaves of this Yucca on the Monocot Borders appear as silver swords:

Yucca reflection

The already silvery surfaces of this Abies shine even more as the sun hits them:

Abies reflection

Abies reflection 2

A similar effect is seen on this weeping Cedrus:

Cedrus reflection

Cedrus reflection 2

Out of the sun but still glistening with moisture are the leaves of Rhododendron yakushimanum:

Rhododendron glistening

The lawns too shine as thousands of dew drops are lit up by the rays:

Lawn reflection

The sun and light winds soon remove this aqueous sheen. But there is still some silver around with the heads of the pampas grass thrusting up into the clear blue skies

Cortaderia selloana 'Alboloneata'

Other, richer colours of autumn are now developing apace, with the trees taking star place

Autumn colour 1

Autumn colour 2

One of the stars for early colour is the Canadian tree Amelanchier lamarkii. This individual is at its swankiest best:

Amelanchier lamarkii

Close to this is another individual of the same species. This has slightly less advanced tones but is contrasted wonderfully with the white flowers of a Clematis ternifolia that has scaled into its branches

Clematis ternifolia in Amelanchier 1

This is such a beautiful sight just now, definitely worthy of more than one shot, so here is another:

Clematis ternifolia in Amelanchier 2

The above picture was shot before the sun reached this area. Once the sun hit, the colours blaze out even more richly:

Clematis ternifolia in Amelanchier 3

For those venturing into the Alpine House here too there is a wealth of colour at the moment. I'll end with a couple of views to tempt you to come and see more for yourself…

Display House 1

Display House 2

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