Autumn at Holehird is a firework display of rich colours. The brightly coloured foliage within the Gardens is supplemented and enhanced by the changing colours and shapes in the surrounding landscape.
The harbinger of autumn at Holehird is generally considered to be the Cercidophyllum at the fork in the drive just before the Car Park. This is one of the first trees to change colour and is certainly one of the most spectacular. Behind this, the long-established trees of the Woodland Walk, along with more recently planted acers, form an ever-changing background of colour as autumn progresses.
Acers provide spectacular bursts of colour in many parts of the Gardens but particularly worthy of note is Acer palmatum 'Sangko-kaku', just inside the gate to the Walled Garden, another example of an early colour changer. Another tree not to be missed is the magnificent tulip tree, Liriodendron tulipifer, with its curiously shaped leaves turning brilliant yellow. It can be found on the slope opposite the Rose Beds.
The changing foliage on the trees is not the only point of interest in autumn. All around the garden, many of the late summer flowerers, such as dahlias and hydrangeas, go on well into autumn albeit with somewhat faded colours. New interest appears on the Rose Beds with the varied shapes and colours of the rose hips. Similarly, seed heads become the focus of interest on the Grasses Bed, as the plants go over. New flowers are still appearing in the form of autumn flowering varieties of plants such as gentians, saxifragae and anemones, in the Rock Garden and elsewhere.
The Gunnera Pool is surrounded by a changing backdrop of shapes and colours in autumn. Dwarf acers and the brighly coloured stems of different varieties of cornus provide the colour, while the gently decaying forms of large plants such as gunnera manicata and rodgersia open up the vista as they slowly sink to the ground. From the nearby Dale Panorama, the effects of the advancing season on the surrounding landscape can be clearly seen.