Head Gardener's Notes

Head Gardener's Notes: Autumn 2017

23rd of Aug, 2017

Autumn is in the air, with mist rising from the Medway as we come into the garden in the early morning, but hopefully summer is not completely over. The Blue and Yellow border is flowering with seven foot Rudbeckia and smaller supporting blue flowers justifying the planting's name. The Jubilee Walk is starting to look mellow with seed heads forming next to new buds. The Union Flag Garden roses may be over but the sowing of red annuals is still in colour and the Asters in the Grey and White Garden are just about to bloom as I write this at the end of August.


We have started the cutting of the mile of yew hedge surrounding the walled garden, which makes three miles if you consider the sides and top. Another large task we are continuing to work on includes the renewal of the Lanning Roper Border from a design by George Carter, who also designed the colourful Jubilee Walk. The work on the renewal of the Lanning Roper involves introducing many new plants and even more manure! The planting will not be finished until next year but you will be able to see the structural plants going in before the end of the open season.


Apples and pears are now bountiful across the Orchard and along the Jubilee Walk and Flag Garden. The trees are an important part of our garden kitchen, and we use them in the Restaurant and Pantry to create autumnal treats including Lady De L'Isle's famous Apple Cake! We like to utilise as much of the fruit as we can and ask that you do not pick the fruit straight from the trees, and instead favour the groundfalls.  Be warned though, most are cookers and will be very tart if you bite straight in!


With the end of the summer in sight we are starting to think about Halloween and as always we have some very large pumpkins growing in the kitchen garden, some for eating but most for carving. You’ll be able to see them across the estate in October.


We're now awaiting the beautiful Autumn colour that will come through shortly, with the Nut Garden, the Lime Walk, Church Terrace, and Arboretum promising a show.  After this we will be digging, weeding, planting and pruning all before the winter is out ready for opening next spring, which will undoubtedly be here in a flash. 


Tony Wiseman

Head Gardener