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China Girl blog 31st October 2019

The clocks have gone back; the long shadows of autumn light up the swirling leaves which fall and whither, transcending time and the gardens’ past glory.
In the pouring rain on Saturday, Mother and Charlie visited two gardens. They went first to Hauser and Worth Near Bruton, owned by a Swiss couple. There is no entrance fee; they must make their money on the modern art gallery, which Mother thinks is like pictures drawn by small children, and also by the excellent restaurant. The garden, designed by the Dutch man Piet Oudolf, is a long oblong cut from a field and hedged; mass planting of grasses sit uncomfortably in the Somerset landscape. At the end of the gardens sits a huge modern building, a cross between a carbuncle and a giant turd. Having failed to get lunch as the place was packed for a wedding, we drove a few miles to the oddly-named garden ‘The Newt,’ which in former times was the lovely garden Hadspen, bought by a South African. We were told it had taken five years to destroy the garden and for it to rise again! Money had not been spared. Everything had been beautifully done, but alas there was little charm; perhaps it will take many years before the Newts edges are softer, money does not always bring beauty!
Flowering in the scree bed, the dark purple Liriope muscari, a native of China, Taiwan and Japan.
In the early rainy days of autumn, the first flowers of Cyclamen hederifolium appear with their reflexed petals; as the flowers fade, the leaf stesm spiral to the ground, carrying the seeds down to be taken by ants to create new colonies. Each cyclamen is truly amazing, for each plant has unique foliage. These small plants add a touch of wonder around the autumn garden as the season changes.

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