Last week I visited the National Arboretum at Westonbirt near Tetbury in Gloucestershire. Here, 17 miles of meandering paths guide the visitor around an impressive tree and shrub collection, the planting of which began in the 1850s. The arboretum contains over 15,000 trees of some 2,500 different types, and also boasts 5 national plants collections. While Westonbirt receives over 350,000 visits each year, autumn is it’s busiest period as at this time of year the arboretum is ablaze with autumn-colouring trees and shrubs. Wind and rain in the week leading up to my visit meant that I’d missed the arboretum at it’s autumnal peak, but there were still plenty of fiery colours to be seen around the grounds. Westonbirt’s collection of Japanese maples was a particular highlight. Interestingly, I’ve recently learned that Hidcote Manor Garden has an area of the garden called ‘Westonbirt’ which was inspired by the planting in the famous arboretum!