The Beech Borders: so named because they lead down across the lily-pond, across the valley and up the cutting through the poplars where the blue hydrangeas are massed on the axis from the biggest of our beech trees. Under the beech there’s a bench looking down these borders, and behind the tree a semi-circle of what was envisaged as pleached limes. Currently they are sapling-like lime trees, not quite beyond pleaching, and interplanted with witch-hazels. Oops. Confusion in the nursery. And one of the random qualities I love about Sequoia’s gardens! (See the blue hydrangeas here and the bench under the beech here. And in the process see the garden in other seasons! )
At an angle to the axis, tapering down to a point, grow a line of Japanese maples, Acer palmatum, one of our earliest and most successful plantings. They were planted along the stream from the fountain from where we get our house-water. In the above photo you can see the pipe which takes the water from the collection tank near the fountain to the storage tank from where it is pumped up to the house tank.
When I laid out the Beech Borders I planted a second row of Japanese maples in exact symmetry with the the existing ones. They seemed impossibly far of to the left of the axis, and stuck out in the unwelcoming veldt. But they are beginning to make a statement in their own right, as can be seen in the above photo, even if they don’t yet relate – 8 or more years later – to the axis. We are looking back up the slope from the bottom here.
Thirty years on the original trees are majestic, every bit as lovely – nay, more so! – than those we admired at the neighbours, sometime in the mid-seventies when we still thought them crazy to have allowed the garden to take over the farm. (See my post on Cheerio Gardens.)
Here we are looking down that line of Japanese maples, the pipe again visible, with a snakebark maple (Acer davidii) blazing bright yellow in the foreground. But it is in the close-ups that the true beauty and grace of these trees can really be understood…
There. The peak of my year in the garden…
Change of pace now as we stand near the bottom of the Beech Borders and a little off the axis, looking across the water-lily pond to the original grove of swamp cypresses (Taxodium distichum). In the background my exclamation mark gum about which I recently posted.
And we wind up our autumn walk looking across the lower terrace, with more swamp cypresses, Liquidamber formosana and cannas that look good surrounded by autumn colour. As does Mateczka.