Saturday, October 27, 2012

Birch, Witch Hazel, Acer Palmatum, Fir - at Sheffield Park

This week we went to Sheffield Park, near Uckfield in West Sussex, for our annual trip to admire the colours of the Autumn landscape.  It was a very grey day - which of course is the very best sort of day for seeing the colours!

It's always a bit of a challenge to get a sketch done here as the landscape garden is not over-endowed with seats - which is very odd as people are always giving seats to other gardens!

However we did manage to nab the seat to the left of the Cascade Bridge from where I did this sketch.  I had planned to do more but it was one of those damp days where it's best to keep moving before I seize up!

Silver Birch, Witch Hazel, Acer Palmatum, Fir - at Sheffield Park 25 October 2012
pen and sepia ink and coloured pencils in small Moleskine sketchbook
copyright Katherine Tyrrell
I'd not heard of the American Witch Hazel before but it was certainly putting on a good show with a variety of shades running from lemon through orange, coral pink and red.  According to the RHS its correct name is Mountain Wych Alder (Fothergilla major AGM) and it's a member of the Hamamelidaceae (the witch-hazel family).

I forget which type of Acer it was - but it's one of those deep plummy purple red ones and in all probility it's an Acer palmatum 'Atropurpureum' (Purple Japanese Maple).

One thing I do know - it's incredibly difficult to reproduce the colours seen on the trees in coloured pencils!

We also spotted what was left of the second largest tree in the garden - the Giant Redwood (Sequoia) which exploded after a lightning strike in January.  If you've ever wondered what the inside of a redwood looks like - see below!

After the lightning strike - Giant Redwood at Sheffield Park
Here are some photos of the trees in colour - and some links to last year's sketches of Autumn at Sheffield Park.

Links to last year's sketches:


  1. Beautiful. We don't have any Autumn colour here yet. You've captured it well.


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