Sheffield Park November 2021

sheffield park


12 members met at Heaven Farm just beyond Danehill for a morning coffee/tea before heading off to Sheffield Park.

The day was perfect, and the requested sun shone …  so much so we were able to have lunch outside!  Whilst we were a little late for the autumn colours there was still plenty to see and admire and including 25 species of Acers and 240 specimens in total with leaf colours ranging from lime green to red.  Some examples are:



  • Nyssa Sylvatica 'Sheffield Park' which comes into Autumn colour about 10 days earlier than the others of the genus.  It turns from green to yellow and then smoky dark pink. 
  • Splendid Larch trees especially the 'Golden Larch' encountered on our walk back up to reception.  It originates from Eastern China where it is listed as vulnerable on the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) red list of threatened species.  It is therefore very rare in the wild.
  • Ginkgo Biloba (Maidenhair Tree).  Fossils of this have been found in coal seams formed 250 million years ago and this ancient primitive is still around today. In autumn the leaves turn to brilliant amber

Why do leaves change colour?

Various pigments in the leaves cause the spectacular colours you see around Sheffield Park.  Green comes from chlorophyll, needed to convert sunlight into food for the plant.  Orange and yellow come from carotenoids which are present in the leaves all year but are normally hidden by chlorophyll.  Reds and purples come from anthocyanins which are produced towards the end of summer.  The chemical changes affect species in the garden in different ways, producing the wide range of colours on display.