Japanese Maple Autumn Experience at Hartford House
At Hartford House, our beautiful farm displays Mother Nature's spectacular seasons in a very distinct fashion, offering our guests the the opportunity to experience the KZN Midlands in and a totally unique way, whilst partaking in peaceful introspection and enjoying the clarity of nature.
For our team, the favourite season at Hartford must be Autumn. It is this season that cools us down after a long Summer and prepares us for the Winter cold ahead... but the best aspect of Autumn for us, is the spectacle of the estate's trees in brilliant change. How radiant the leaves are as their colours transform, each a distinctly different pastel... it's like the second Spring where every leaf is a flower.
The foliage on the Greater Summerhill / Hartford Estate takes on a vibrant hue at this time of year, blushing every conceivable complexion. A standout in the Hartford gardens is the Japanese Maple – a tree so beautiful that when one sees it, there is no option but to stop, take in a deep breath and allow one's self to be lost in wonder.
The Acer Palmatum... or Japanese Maple, is a species of woody plant native to Japan, North Korea, South Korea, Eastern Mongolia, and Southeast Russia. Many different cultivars of this Maple have been selected and grown worldwide for their attractive leaf shapes and brilliant colours. The Japanese Maple may have multiple trunks joining close to the ground and is often shaped like a Hemisphere (especially when younger) and sometimes takes on a dome-like form, especially when mature. The leaves are 4–12 cm long and are wide, palmately lobed with five, seven, or nine acutely pointed lobes.
In Japan, the Maple is used as an accent tree in Japanese gardens, providing gentle shade next to the house in the Summer and spectacular colours in Autumn. Many cultivars have characteristics that come into prominence during the different seasons, including the colour of new or mature leaves, extraordinary Autumn colours, colour and shape of samaras, and even bark that becomes more brightly coloured during the Winter.
The gardens surrounding Hartford's Manor House are renowned for the presence of these very special trees and it’s no wonder our guests often find themselves wondering, lost in their captivating beauty.
But remember, if you wish to experience Hartford's Maples putting on a show like no other, then you must visit with us in Autumn! We've also heard it said that this natural display offers a more succinct therapy than 'The Happiest 5000 on the Planet'... 'The Colour Run'... an event celebrating health, happiness and individuality.