Head Gardener's Notes

Head Gardener's Notes: Autumn 2018

15th of Sep, 2018

At this time of year, the hedges in the walled garden become the focus of our work. With a mile of yew hedging separating the 11 acres into garden rooms, it takes us six weeks to prune it all. This year it may take a little longer as we have started a process of reducing the height, width and in some places, shape of the hedges to bring a tighter, more formal feel to the walled gardens, and improve the stability of the hedges for future generations.

The carnations in the flag garden will be removed at the end of September, so we can prepare for the planting of 672 new red roses. In 2019, we will be turning our attention to the lavender beds, where we will be introducing young pants and pruning back the older plants to stimulate fresh growth. 

Our apple and pear trees are full of fruit this year with some going to the house and some to the kitchens for use in the Porcupine Pantry Café, and Garden Restaurant. Please do not pick from the trees but help yourselves to any fresh windfalls on the ground. This is because we can only use tree picked fruit in our food preparation to guarantee freshness and quality.

Even before the leaves are turning we are preparing for the winter with mulch ordered and our pumpkins getting fat and plump in the kitchen garden. The pumpkins, many of which are absolute giants, will be used in the woods for the Halloween storytelling in October, and a few will be carved and placed throughout the gardens to complement our broomstick trail. Don’t miss our annual guess the weight of our largest pumpkin competition this year, which will be located just outside of the visitor entrance.

As for the rest of the winter we will be planting daffodils on the Lime walk and in the garden, ready for their bright yellow display in Spring 2019.  Next year we will also be officially opening the newly-planted George Carter Walk which sits adjacent to the Italian Garden and is currently showcasing a beautiful pastel coloured display for visitors to enjoy.


With best wishes,

Tony Wiseman

Head Gardener