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If you’re anything like us, you’ll be starting to plan your autumnal excursions now we’re in September. We covered this same topic back before summer kicked off and now we’re looking for the best public gardens for autumn. Some are the same, some gardens are beautiful in every season and you should go four times a year. Some are different, some gardens are extravagant in autumn because of the species on offer. Either way – the 5 gardens below should be on your “absolute-must-see-must-cancel-plans-to-see” list for October…

Westonbirt Arboretum, Gloucs

You’ll be amazed at the age and size of some of the trees in this beautiful park. There are more than 15,000 in total and you’re definitely here to look upward, rather than down. There’s something very Japanese about Westonbirt during October, when the gardens look ablaze with deep reds and vibrant yellows covering the treeline and ground. Acer, Beech and Maple are to thank for this display of colour but it’s the Katsura that you’ll really notice – which covers the entire area in a beautiful autumnal scent.

Crarae Garden, Argyll

Almost as far from the Cotswolds as you could get, Crarae Garden nestles in the Scottish highlands and offers an outstanding wild majesty. More of a glen than a garden, Crarae is populated with ice-cold rivers, babbling brooks and impressive waterfalls. 126 acres of gardens began life as a plant collection in 1912 and continues in that theme to this day – boasting more than 600 species of Rhododendron. Good luck getting them all in your notepad. Look out for the Berberis and the red squirrels which scurry over the garden, almost camouflaged in the flame-coloured landscape.

Painshill Park, Surrey

From outlandish beauty to ornamental gardens, Painshill Park sits in the heart of Cobham and is one of the most romantic gardens in England. The park is divided into two sections, the first of which is very structured and manicured – built around a serene lakeside landscape and perfect for picnics. The other half of the park was left in a more natural state and will be your best bet for a true garden experience. It’s here that you’ll also find the best autumnal experience, with one of the largest collections of North American trees and shrubs in the country.

Drummond Gardens, Perthshire

Another example of how structure can still be beautiful, these Scottish gardens is one of the most formal delights of European greenery. The entire Drummond landscape has been terraced and designed to the shape of St. Andrew’s Cross – but is undeniably Italian in style. Feast your eyes, but not your mouths, on the 21 species of apple trees. Enjoy 14 different species of Acer too, which are largely responsible for the radiating colour of the gardens through autumn – we challenge you to find a more golden display in October…

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