Autumns Glorious Colours

Autumns Glorious Colours

October saw the start of autumn and the first hints of colour through the trees in the arboretums. The reds and yellows seem particularly good this year, and the lime avenue is a dazzling display of gold at the moment. Another cracker is our Acer rubrum ‘October Glory’ in front of the mansion with its fiery shades of red. The next few weeks will bring more colour and it’s a great time to walk around the grounds and gardens.

Regular visitors may have discovered our new path that runs from the Winter Borders through the upper arboretum to the mansion. I always felt that we needed a path through the arboretum to give people more chance to appreciate some of our wonderful trees. It was great to finally get it done, and it looks like it was always there, which is a sure sign that it was the right decision.

As we prepare for the coming Winter, we are busy cutting back, mulching, digging out, dividing, and protecting where necessary. If you look after your garden now, it will reward you in years to come. Our fruit and vegetable areas are currently undergoing their autumn tidy. We are organising our beds for next year and planning where to plant what. We have a crop rotation system in place, which helps prevent pests and disease and keeps the nutrients in the soil more balanced. We will shortly be planting out garlic and shallots and sowing sweet pea indoors for next year’s crops. We are currently keeping glasshouse vents open overnight to encourage leaf fall on our indoor fruit such as peaches and grapes. The grape vine needs to be fully dormant before we start to prune it.

We have begun planting out our bulb order. We had over ten thousand this year, as well as recycled bulbs from last year’s bedding displays that we re-use elsewhere when possible. The most exciting addition for me is our new collection of Irish heritage daffodils that we are planting along our Winter borders. There are nearly 200 varieties that all originate from Irish breeders and will form a fantastic display in the spring.

Other jobs we will be doing over the next month include lifting and dividing herbaceous perennials, wind lopping roses, spreading compost and digging over vegetable beds, leaf collection to form next year’s leaf mold, lifting dahlias, begonias to overwinter inside, fleecing tree ferns and tender plants to protect from frost, and the planting of new bare root hedging and trees.

Our teams of garden volunteers have been a huge help this year and I can honestly say we would have struggled without them.  We would welcome any new recruits. We meet at 9.00am every Wednesday and Friday (weather permitting) and finish at 1.00pm. It’s a lovely social occasion and we try to keep it interesting and varied. Contact me at [email protected] for more information.

It’s a very busy time of the year for us here in the gardens and usually, in my experience, the time when you achieve the most. Come and see us in November! Adam