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The Garden in October

The garden blog is back! The torch has passed to Garden manager Rose, now that David has retired and we’re delighted to find out what’s happening in the garden in October.

the garden in October

Autumn has come to the garden. Any casual visitor looking up at the hanger, brushed with burnished gold, would agree with
Gilbert’s journal entry of October 1783 that:
“If a masterly landscape painter was to take our hanging woods
in their autumnal colours, persons unacquainted with the
country, would object to the strength and deepness of the
tints…”
The planting plan for the SW Quarter continues to produce surprises, Aster “Calliope” is now in full and spectacular flower and the yellows and violets of the companion planting beautifully complement this extremely abundant variety. In the Herb Garden we have cut back most of the dead stems leaving only those which will provide food for the birds or hold their shape when outlined by a heavy frost. Our two Parson’s Pink China roses (introduced in 1793) continue to produce a profusion of baby pink flowers. l had thought that the repeat flowering habit of this rose came at the expense of scent in terms of its genetic legacy,
but surprisingly it has rather a wonderful rose scent with “high notes”of citrus.

the garden in october
In the Wild Garden the vegetation around the pond has been carefully cut down and the willow hoops plashed and tamed.
We will tackle the pond when the crested newts have left the pond to hibernate elsewhere. The Bee Border is now clear of its
luxuriant crop of grass and ready for the roses to be given some proper support in time for next year’s flowering. David kindly returned to cut the yew hedges along the main lawn which has given a crisp backdrop to the more informal planting elsewhere and a day of sustained effort (removing self sown Nicandra physaloides and invasive Passiflora cerulea) has given order to the exuberant jungle that was obscuring the fruit trees on the Fruit Wall. A generous donation from the Friends will mean that we can add an apricot to the greengage and nectarine already in place and also replace some of the fruit trees that we have lost (to old age and high winds!) in other areas of the garden.

the garden in october

In the Vegetable Garden Keith has sown Buckwheat and Alfalfa as green manure and harvested a colourful array of squashes and pumpkins which are now for sale in the shop. The seeds are selling really fast at the moment and a concerted effort today has ended with most seed processed, boxed and labelled.