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November 2019 – Gardens

5 Dec 2019

Our Head Gardener, Jonathan, reflects on November

Leaves, leaves and more leaves has been the state of play where the gardens are concerned! Staff and visitors alike are likely to find the garden team and I with rakes or leaf blowers in hand.

Much of our time has been spent clearing leaves but, in areas of poor soil, we left them on the beds as they need all the organic matter they can get. The best compost is made from leaves we collect from the lawn mixed in with nutrients and bark. We try to recycle our materials as much as possible and, since we do all our own potting, we are careful not to over-water or allow plants to dry out.

We’ve almost finished planting all of next year’s bulbs – now is always an exciting time of year as we can start to visualise how our work will enhance the visual displays for our visitors in 2020. We’re still clearing beds, especially around Hootz House and the Wildlife Habitat Garden and we are adding lots of green waste to the soil in the hope the worms will move it around over winter.

The Millennium Garden remains undisturbed and is glowing in the autumn light. The grasses are coming into their own, especially the plumes of Miscanthus and the golden Mollina, and if we have a damp morning the garden appears to glow even more. It’s a treat for our early-morning visitors! With this difficult, typical British weather we are currently having, it won’t be long before the tall grasses subside, so now is the time to catch them in their full autumnal glory before winter fully takes control.

Lastly, we were thrilled to feature as the English Garden of the week in ‘The English Garden’ magazine on 25th November, discussing the beauty of Piet Oudolf’s Millennium Garden whatever the season. You can read the full article here.