Six on Saturday – Walking through the Botanics

I dropped my son off in town this morning and while he got creative, on a writing course, I hared around town on a few errands, until it rained. Then I headed for the Fitzwilliam Museum for a wander and gander while the streets got wetter. But with 40mins left till pickup time I decided to walk to the rendez-vous point across the Botanic Gardens. I thought that this would be my chance to see the usually stunning liquidambar by the lake. Too late! This week’s frosts and today’s winds have stripped all but the most stubborn leaves from the tree. However, there is still colour to see and there are some interesting getting-ready-for-winter tips to note. Plus, there is an exhibition of the winners of the International Garden Photographer of the Year to check out. So I am joining Six on Saturday hosted by The Propagator with some vignettes from Cambridge Botanical Gardens.

1) You can’t beat a good acer for colour

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These are Acer ‘Osakazuki’, Acer ‘Sango-Kaku’ and a tiny, deeply-incised, unnamed tree over looking the lake.

2) Net your ponds


Otherwise this happens. This looks delightful now, but a week down the line the leaves will have lost their colour, have sunk to the bottom of the pond and will start to rot. When the Botanics dredged their lake in 2016/2017 it was practically a swamp. Pretty though!

3) Winter protection

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The gunnera have been chopped back and some of the leaves have been inverted to protect the crowns of the plants over winter. Elsewhere protective covers are used to keep plants dry, if not warm. Here, the Arid bay next to the glasshouse has been covered and closed off for the winter.

4) Salvias are forever

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The protected Salvia Bay, in another of those handy greenhouse alcoves, is still looking colourful in spite of the frosts. Salvia involucrata is the obvious star in pink, but there is a lovely blue Salvia patens at the front and the scented, red pineapple sage, Salvia elegans too. I didn’t see any S. leucantha down the alley on this visit, but round the corner there was a huge example of Salvia confertiflora (second image) reaching for the heavens.

5) International Garden Photographer of the Year

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I hadn’t realised this exhibition was outside, but isn’t it a wonderful setting? It consists of twelve 1.8mx1.8m panels and will run through November and most of December (until 19th)

The second photo shows the winning image (called ‘Fireworks’) and is by Jill Welham. It was created with alliums using a technique known as wet cyanotype.

6) Cork Oaks


The northern door of the glasshouse complex opens out into a quiet, woody area of green dreams. There are ferns, tree ferns and two beautiful cork oaks. It’s my favourite bit of the gardens. So atmospheric!

So that is my Six for this Saturday. Even on a dull, wet day, there is much to enjoy. (Except for England losing of course).  Have a great weekend!


About Frogend_dweller

Living in the damp middle of nowhere
This entry was posted in autumn, Six on Saturday, Trees and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Six on Saturday – Walking through the Botanics

  1. fredgardener says:

    The maples are incredible at this time of the year. I posted a picture of one of mine on Twitter on Friday and I think I’ll show it in a future blog post!
    The removable roofs to protect the cacti area are inventive!

  2. Eliza Waters says:

    What a beautiful garden in which to while away a few hours. The Acers, as always, are magnificent.

  3. Wonderful colours! And the cork oak reminds me of Portugal, sunshine, blue skies…!

  4. Yes agree with the comments above about the gorgeous colours. Autumn can be lovely.

  5. Val says:

    That cork oak’s amazing! The pond with leaves on it looks very pretty but as you say will get very messed up quickly. We can’t really net our pond as otherwise small birds might get caught in it – and our frogs like to go a-wandering (though we cover a little area each year so that their taddies can be safer), so it’s just a matter of keeping on top of things with a net and pole… a duty that falls to hubby as my balance isn’t good enough for doing anything close to the pond!

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