by Brandy D. Anderson
Autumn is the most gorgeous time of year, a time when the air turns crisp and you can feel the tangible change from Summer to Fall. One of the best places to see this seasonal transition is through the changing leaves and gardens, and the United Kingdom boasts some of the loveliest displays of both. I’ve found the three best Garden and Weather Twitter pages in the UK to help you get ready for cider, pumpkins and the increasing chill in the air.
About: “Join the nation’s favourite conversation! Share what’s happening to the weather where you are right now ”
This official BBC account is great because it gives you beautiful shots from around the UK while also providing accompanying helpful quick weather reports for each spot. They update throughout the day as well, so you never run out of lovely photos to ‘wish you were there’ over. This morning’s most recent photo hails from Harker, Cumbria: “Not all doom and gloom today” and you see the sun peeking out betwixt a couple of trees. An earlier photo features a foggy Plymouth: “I presume Plymouth Sound is still out there?…somewhere? Phil”.
Another post reads “The rain’s sinking southwards and while it’s cloudy in Cambridgeshire, Swansea is seeing sunny spells. Mel”. There are three pictures flanking this tweet, one is a really neat aerial shot showing swirling cloud cover, and the other two are ground shots of the moody skies with local temperatures for each location. Another gray picture of Kings Crich, Derbyshire adds, “Look close to see the blue in the sky, but it is there!”
There are tweets asking for user engagement, like this recent one: “Has Weather Watchers helped you become more digitally savvy? @BBCMIDigital wants to know! Email email@example.com”. They also encourage people to send in their own weather photos from their local areas, as seen in this recent user photo: “Despite all the sunshine around today, there are a few cloudier spots. Thanks to our weather watcher on the Norfolk coast. Helen”, photo is of Cromer and is from BBC Weather Watcher, Mark. 13 degrees C and crisp blue skies in Taunton, Somerset sets the stage for “A beautiful #autumn day in Taunton today. Burrow Mump, to be precise”. There are a series of gorgeous captures of the full moon, taken from around the entire UK. You can even see an awesome photo of a pirate ship silhouetted against a pink and purple sunset.
About: “WFGA Open to All… Advancing Horticulture. Practical 1-year training in the UK’s most beautiful gardens. Workshops / Day courses & Gdn Jobs Network.”
The WFGA (Women’s Farm and Garden Association) has been around for more than 100 years. It began as the Women’s National Land Service Corp and the Employment Bureau, with other projects including an Outfit Department (supplying shoes, boots, overalls, and breeches), a Smallholdings Project (practical experience of commercial growing), a Garden Apprenticeship Scheme, a Career Advisory Service, and a Travel Bursary. Current projects funded and organized by the WFGA include the development of “Specialist Activities”, The Christine Ladley Fund (“supporting members to further their education, learn specialist skills, travel and design projects to help schools and local communities”), and The Garden Recruitment Network.
Oh, the gardens! The loveliness! The landscapes! There is just so much to take in with this account, and it’s all splendorous! You can moon over the tweet featuring “Beautiful Autumn light @CheniesManor – my WRAGs training year 7 months in…” with its four lush photos of greenery and castles and scrumptious shrubbery! Another tweet has a fun zebra aside bright yellow text: “@NGSOpenGardens Chief Executive @GeorgePlumptre ended yesterday’s #NGSConference on a high note… ‘Today has confirmed we have had a very spirited and successful 90th anniversary. There’s been lots of cake and lots of well earned pride and I’m hopeful we’ll have record sums to donate next year.’”.
If you love everything about Autumn, the weather, the animals, the trees, the gardens, then you’ll love their recent Autumn Watch repost: “#Autumnwatch returns to our screens on Monday 23rd October on @BBCTwo”. Another tweet features a photo of a decadent table decorated with garden scrubs and flowers, a lantern, orange candles, yellow drinks, and a few pumpkins: “Visiting RHS Autumn Show London… @The_RHS #autumn growing”. They also post about a lot of different gardening events and opportunities, both in and out of the WFGA, like this recent retweet from Dalemain Mansion: “We’re looking for #volunteers to help us during our Garden Volunteer Week in October. For more information, visit bit.ly/2wlUwOn”. One of my favourite recent photos they shared, though, is a particularly atmospheric shot of a pebble lane lined by a long row of thick trees: “Autumn mists at Chenies…”
About: “Official account of the National Botanic Garden of Wales. Been here? Tweet your photos using #GardenOfWales. Cyfrif swyddogol Gardd Fotaneg Genedlaethol Cymru”
Botanic Garden Wales shares awesome garden news, photos, and they even tweet neat trivia, too! One recent trivia piece came from Bruce Langrige: “According to @IUCNRedList this citrine #waxcap found @walesbotanic yesterday is 1 of 20,000 remaining in Europe and lives for 17 tears. True?” The picture is really cool, it features a very odd little white waxcap mushroom housed in luscious green grass. If you’re a Welsh Gaeilge speaker, you’ll certainly appreciate the healthy doses of Gaelic on this page, like this recent post: “y penwythnos hwn – Penwythnos Hen Bethau & Penwythnos i Chi a’r Ci! Dau gyfle i chwilmentan ymhlith ry amryw o stondinau – mynediad yn £4!” (Translation: “This weekend – Antiques Weekend & Doggy Weekend! Two days of treasure hunting among the curios and collectibles – ₤4 entry fee!”)
One of the coolest moths I’ve ever seen is the subject in Colin Ford’s tweet: “African Moon Moth out today”. You’ll find behind-the-scenes garden care videos, like this one: “Some of our work at the National Botanic Gardens of Wales yesterday. Removing deadwood, damaged branches and limbs around the site”. Another photo features a little butterfly-shaped sign in one of the garden greenhouses, James Callicott was quick enough to snap a pic of a beautiful black butterfly taking a wee rest on the sign: “Was busy planting in The Tropical House today when I spotted this…made me chuckle to myself. #butterfly @welshbotanic”.
You can read all about the “New Secret Life of Welsh Food 1.30 tomorrow @BBCRadioWales featuring @Beach_Food @ SelwynsSeaweed + Scott @ShortcakeDining: Food writer Simon Wright explores the social history of Welsh food, starting with seaweed”. Richard Britt shared some beautiful plant life in his post entitled “Fantastic day out to National Botanic Gardens of Wales”. Another behind-the-scenes tweet shows pictures of “Translocating rare Sticta #lichen @walesbotanic for @RegencyRarity with Ray Woods. @Gowermoss, Richard Pryce & Peter Lee Thompson”.