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Friday, 5 October 2012

Autumn's palettes + Lacock Village

Think of autumn and what colours come to mind I wonder?  Reds, golds and oranges along with occasional bright blue skies perhaps?  Yet Autumn has another gentler more subtle palette which she uses to great effect too.

We went to Lacock (on which more later) yesterday and on the drive I noticed that Summer's flamboyant, exuberant colours had been replaced with softer hues.  No longer were the fields bright gold but now a subtler, more neutral shade where the stubble remains awaiting the plough and other fields which had already been ploughed now stood soft chocolatey brown.  Some fields of sweet corn still to be harvested were no longer green but a greyish beige shade.  The verdant bright greens of summer had faded to a duller, darker shade and along the roadsides there stood the bleached skeletons of cow parsley and faded grasses along with the pale browns of the many teasels with here and there a clump of wild Michaelmas daisies in soft pale mauve..  Even the sky was a lighter shade of blue yesterday with pale clouds here and there.

Once at Lacock we wandered round the gardens of the Abbey and it was these same soft subtle colours I noticed most.

 The mauves of the Michaelmas daisies...

  ....blending with the pink of the echinacea (I think that's what it was).

And this beautiful clump of pretty pink cyclamen beneath one of the trees.

Back home this morning I wandered round the garden and realised that it was the same here and although we do still have some cheerful orange marigolds and lots of nasturtiums bravely flowering in their many shades of yellow the main palette is again a pink/mauve one.  This hydrangea is the dark blue one we brought from France which has resolutely remained pink in spite of adding some special stuff (see how technical I am!)

 Another pink hydrangea  - this one was here when we moved in.

Pretty nerines replacing the bright orange montbretia on the path.

 The last remaining sweet peas are also in shades of pink, mauve and white.

Autumn paints in both the vivid shades we usually associate with the season and with these subtler colours so that it seems as if she can't quite decide to leave Summer brights behind just yet but that she is winding down from all that bohemian brashness to something perhaps more English and delicate.  I don't think I could live with the summer brights all the time any more than I could live with summer sunshine (what was that this year?!) all year round and believe that "to everything there is a season" and we are now ready for something cooler both in terms of temperature and of colour.


We had gone to Lacock to meet up with a couple of our Surrey friends and we enjoyed our day out and the weather was kind with only one very light, brief shower all day.  Lacock is a pretty village and has appeared in many films.  It is however a living place and not a film set and so naturally every photo was spoiled by the parked cars in the foreground and as it was obviously bin day by ugly great wheelie bins!  So if you want to see what the village is like you might be better to look it up on Google!  Or here.

Pity it was bin day!

We enjoyed lunch and a good catch up natter before going into the Fox Talbot museum .  My friend and I enjoyed the exhibition called Theatre of Insects on the mezzanine floor whilst Mr M and my friend's husband examined all the old photography bits and pieces.  For more of Jo Whaley's work click here.

 And from there to the Abbey.

Loved this oddly asymetrical shaped archway!

I didn't like the atmosphere inside the house for some reason and couldn't wait to get back outside. I later discovered that a young girl had been sent to the Nunnery and had hated the life and tried to escape - she had been brought back and incarcerated in a cold damp cell where she died.  I am not into the paranormal or anything like that but I do wonder....?!  The last time I felt anything like that was many years ago when I first visited the Devils' Punchbowl near Hindhead in Surrey and later discovered it was Gibbet Hill where people had been hung in days gone by. 

Ghosts or whatever notwithstanding we enjoyed our day out!


  1. I didn't mention on my post when I went a few weeks ago, because I thought it just me, but I felt the same in the house.
    Julie xxxxxxxx

  2. Well done on finding all those shades of lavender among the red and golds.
    The cycalmen are so pretty as are the michaelmas daisies. :)
    I do hope my hydrangea doesn't go pink I desparately want it to stay blue!!
    Happy weekend Jane,
    vivienne x

  3. Dear Jane,

    First, I would like to say in response to your previous post about blogging that when I started my little space fourteen months ago I found much inspiration and comfort in yours, so thank you!

    Second, I think this new post of yours is rich and splendid. I am always game for reading about colours and yes, you are absolutely right to pinpoint the subtler hues which this season provides us with. I love the asymmetrical doorway and Lacock, visited many moons ago, is the sort of village which makes me quite nostalgic for England.


  4. Hello JAne, lovely, lovely photographs, I've had an enjoyable trip out while reading your post!
    Like you I am not into the paranormal, but I do think that events which have engendered very strong emotion do seem to attach themselves in some way to places. I guess if we can accept electricity and microwaves and yes, even the world wide web, we have to accept there are currents and vibrations we cannot see nor understand. Ooooh, now I've become all other-worldly! Not me at all!

  5. I love the more muted autumnal tones. How strange that you felt uncomfortable in that building. Sometimes I feel uncomfortable in a whole area and sometimes have a bit of a funny turn in B&Q!!! I do like that asymmetrical arch too. Very unusual.

  6. No, I don't like the inside of the house either - though I haven't been there for many years. I have had many such experiences, and often feel a bit silly explaining them afterwards. We used to walk through the woods to Gibbet Hill from the house where I worked in Haslemere when I first left school, it's a bit of an odd place too.

  7. I'm loving the muted hydrangeas this year. Such a pretty colour.

    Thanks for taking us along on your outing. What a sad tale about the young girl.

  8. I noticed that our little patch of cyclamen are out only yesterday so it's good to note that, even this far west, we are in synch with the rest of the country as far as the change of the seasons go. Lovely soft muted pinks in those garden photos. I prefer hydrangeas when they start to get speckly and ragged. Enjoyed the other Lacock photos too. Sounds like a lovely autumn day out.. you always make your trips inclusive for us. Thanks Jane.

  9. Well it was all going along fine .. lovely photos, .. flowers, buildings, ... and then I arrived at the insects !!!Yuk, Yuk !!! Couldn't have stayed in the same room I'm afraid !
    Luckily there was so much that was lovely outside... despite the cars and bins ... that I would have been happy wandering there.

  10. I too love the muted colours of autumn that you have captured so well here, Jane. I especially loved the gorgeous picture of the michaelmas daisies. Your photos of Lacock are delightful too....I did smile at the mention of bin day :) Sometimes I've been about to take a picture of a beautiful little cottage somewhere only to see through the viewfinder a host of bins and cars getting in too!
    Enjoy your autumn days.
    Helen x

  11. We went in Spring so it is delight to see the gardens in Autumn. Beautiful houses those..........
    The Michaelmas daisies are lovely, a favourite of mine, always heralding the change of season.

  12. I always enjoy a virtual trip out with you Jane, thanks for taking me along.

  13. That's the second ghost story I've read on my blog list today! I've always wanted to go to Lacock. Know what you mean about the 21st century always getting in the way of a good photo. I sometimes try to photoshop ugly things out but it never looks quite right.

    There is still so much colour in gardens at this time of year - I just love Michaelemas Daisies - especially when covered in butterflies. A post just full of beautiful images!

  14. I really enjoyed this post and looking at your lovely photographs. Those Cyclamen under the tree were especially pretty.
    I would also like to thank you for the touching comment you left on my last post. It's been 14 years since I lost my own mum, and not a days goes by that I don't think of her and wish I'd known her better.
    Jill x

  15. I've not been to Lacock so only know it from TV scenes, it looks like an English village where everyone tries to look after their environment - never mind the 'orrible wheely bins.
    You're so right about seasons having their own colours - Spring is purple, gold and white and Autumn is pinks, mauves and whites - what I think of as sweet pea colours! Nice to have two kinds of hydrangeas, one mophead and one lacecap. My white one is now a soft pink before it turns a soft brown...!
    I love your travelogues.

  16. I loved Lacock but not been there in the Autumn. Glad the spider was artistic licence!


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