Although we don’t really think about Langdale as being an autumn garden in the traditional sense, there are many really nice autumnal touches here. It tends to be individual plants rather than big bold blocks of autumnal colour. We like to think of it as subtle rather than in your face.
A fine example is the beautiful crab apple Malus ‘Butterball’ (right). For me this is simply one of the most beautiful trees for the small garden. It doesn’t have that wow factor as you scan the whole garden, but at this time of year, move in close and it simply shouts of “Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness”.
Where they die back gracefully, we leave cutting down grasses and herbaceous perennials until just before they start into re-growth in the spring, giving us another whole season in which to enjoy them. Late summer might be its best season, but the Salvage Garden provides interest all the way through winter. The delicate and shapely seed heads of Miscanthus nepalensis (left) contrast beautifully with the big bold blocks of cone flower and giant oat grass planted high up on the raised bed.