The smell of candy floss is usually associated with a trip to the fairground or a coastal visit but at Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens in Northumberland the scent of spun sugar is marking the start of autumn. Deep golds and warming reds envelope the trees at this English Heritage site, but what makes Belsay special at this time of year is the added treat of the unique and evocative scent given off by the Katsura tree which smells of candy floss.
This unusual tree comes from Japan and is just one of the many trees at Belsay Hall signalling the start of Autumn with a colourful display. It’s one of three Katsura trees in the gardens.
Autumn is a memorable season in this particular garden. The hues are spectacular – the brilliant white bark of Betula utilis Var. jacquemontii at the Quarry entrance, along with the red leaved Euonymus provide rich colour underneath a massive towering Beech. A planting of large Aralia gives colour along the fern walk, opening to the meadow area surrounded by magnificent specimens of Persian Ironwood with Cornus kousa and the scent of candy floss filling the air from the yellow to copper coloured Japanese Katsura Tree.
Jo Harrigan, Head Gardener at Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens commented: “Autumn is a particularly special time here and the flowering of the Katsura tree is a delight for anyone who visits. It smells for such a short period of time that visitors should pay a visit before it ends. Belsay has the only quarry garden in the north of England and because of this there’s guaranteed colour in our garden throughout the year and always something new to see. The Katsura tree is just one of the many highlights we have here.”
*Photo caption: Jo Harrigan, the Head Gardener at Belsay Hall, Gardens and Castle stands in front of a Katsura tree which smells like burnt sugar for a short time during the year.*