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When Autumn sets in the gardening duties begin to wane. As the half term holidays approach why not pack up the children and, if the weather is good enough, a picnic, and head off to a nearby garden? A flask of homemade soup  and a comfy rug and you are set for the day!

Sheffield Park, East Sussex This magnificent garden always comes to light at this time of year because of its stunning autumn colours. The huge expanses of water and the planting around the lakes makes marvellous reflections, particularly from the maples and scarlet oaks at this time of year.

Sir Harold Hillier Gardens, Hants Skillful planting leads to magnificent winter colour palettes here at Hillier – 180 acres of some of the finest plants and trees in the country.

The Savill Garden, Surrey has one of the most amazing collection of trees, a water garden that is just outstanding and much, much more.

Winkworth Arboretum, Surrey  is the 100-acre paradise created by Dr Wilfred Fox some 80 years ago. When he first purchased Winkworth, he concentrated on maples, which give such fine autumn colour, but in later years he planted azaleas, magnolias and Japanese cherries. The combination makes for spectacular colour displays in both spring and autumn.