Gardeners busy at work

The sun is shining on the gardens today and smoke drifts across the gardens from our Autumn bonfires.

The beeches in the park have turned a beautiful golden colour and the sheep grazing underneath make a bucolic picture.

We have seen the first winter frosts this week, which have caused many of our tender plants to collapse and there is an urgent need to tidy up pots and annual beds.

The dahlias can now be lifted and work is ongoing to store them safely over the winter. The tubers will sit dry and warm undercover before being planted into pots in the spring and then planted out in late May. Steve has been busy clearing a new bed beneath the Black Walnut tree in the woodland walk.

Recently, it had grown further and further over the path, its great limbs reaching down to the ground and kneeling there before shooting up again.

There are only about two weeks of the year when the sap isn’t rising in a Black Walnut, so if you perform tree surgery at the wrong time the tree will bleed to death. In late August this year we cut the limbs right back and there was a perfect space left for a new bed.

Since it was swamped with ground elder, Steve spent two and a half days days just clearing and pulling out the roots! We are going to create a winter bed here full of snowdrops and cyclamen and iris reticulata but when we can plant it depends on the ground elder. We may also have to weed several times more.