Glowing in the gloom
It may have been a crazy thing to do, to head inland to the hills and the mist that turns out to be rain on a day like this, but Benmore Gardens is more wonderfully autumnal every time we see it just now, and this view of the trees round the dark pond sums it up.
However, there's another story, and that's what my extra photo is to illustrate. On the radio this morning there was an item about the threat to the giant redwoods for which Benmore is famous - a threat caused by climate change, by the increase in rainfall in this already rainy part of Scotland. The giant redwood avenue lies along possibly the lowest ground in the area, running from the foot of the hill almost as far as the banks of the River Eachaig. The grassy area between the two columns of trees is frequently waterlogged - a problem that must have been apparent when it was laid out, as there are Victorian-style iron drains of the kind you see in city gutters in the grass. Now, apparently, this is not enough and the trees are suffering - their foliage is diminishing, to mention one thing that I've noticed.
Part of the solution is to plant other shrubs and ferns around their bases to prevent the soil from being compacted and to take up some of the water, and that's what the photo shows. We'd noticed this work being done; it's good to know that there is a purpose beyond mere appearance.
Mere appearance. Daft thing to say, when what I began with was the beauty of the place.