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Perry and Ken

Autumn Garden Blog 2023

Gardener's Blog
Monday, 16 October 2023
The summer is over, and it is time to recap what the last couple of months brought us here in the Victorian Walled Garden in Kylemore Abbey. It seems like the main season was over before it even started, time just flew by. Staying on top of every corner here in the 6-acre Walled Garden means constant adjustments, adapting, and focusing on the main areas. Like so many other places, we had our share of unpredictable weather, first the immense heat and drought, then heavy endless rain for a couple of weeks. Despite all this, the garden season turned out well and there is still a lot to see behind our walls

Pic 1 Our late summer display in the Ribbon beds mid-September

The display of late summer flowering plants like Sedums, Anemones or Pearl Everlasting gives still a colourful show at the moment.  

The orange of the Calendulas creates a nice contrast to the pink shades of Snapdragons and the blues of Lobelias in combination with the lush green of the lawns. The season for Lobelias is nearly over but we will leave the old plants in until the whole bed will be replaced with spring bedding and bulbs. This way the precious soil won't wash away in the next downpour. 

A lot of dead heading is needed to keep the blossom going as long as possible, at least until mid-October.

Pic 2 Calendulas, Snapdragons and Lobelias in the Snake beds.

Also, the Cannas have a great season this year and add to the subtropical and lush feeling of the Victorian bedding layouts in our garden. They started to bloom nearly three months ago. The vibrant yellow of Tagetes tenuifolia ‘Golden Gem’ created a strong edge to the formal beds.

Pic 3 Subtropical planting scheme

The heat spell we experienced in June let our Pumpkins ripe much better than in recent years and it is lovely to see how children are getting excited when seeing them. 

Pic 4 Heritage varieties of Pumpkins

The last of our tomatoes are ripening indoors and we also grew a couple of Jalapeño peppers this year! 

Pic 5 Plum tomatoes are still ripening 

Pic 6 Jalapeño peppers are nearly there!

Few of our apple trees are cropping heavy, especially the cider apples are doing well this year. Also, the pear trees are fruiting well. 

Pic 7 Heritage apple variety ‘Lane Prince Albert’, a cooking apple’, fruited well this year. 

The Herbaceous Border is slowly coming to its end of the flowering season. 

Anemones, Asters, Kaffir Lilies and Sedums are the last flowers blooming and we started already to cut back older perennials who finished flowering much earlier. 

Pic 8 The Herbaceous Border end September 

One of the nicest climbing roses in our Herbaceous Border would be ‘Blush Noisette’, an old heritage variety. It bears masses of small, scented roses which last well into autumn. 

Pic 9 Rose ‘Blush Noisette’ 

Soon it is time to replace all summer bedding with next year’s spring bedding plants and to prepare the vegetable plots for the winter season.  

We started to harvest seeds of all kinds of flowers and vegetables for the coming season, a process which will last well into October. The seeds of our heritage climbing bean variety 'Borlotto Lingua di Fuoco' from Italy, dating back to 1880, are not ripe yet and will need another couple of weeks before we can harvest them.  

Pic 10 Climbing bean variety 'Borlotto Lingua di Fuoco' 

The newly planted spring cabbages got a nice cover of seaweed, freshly harvested from nearby shores. This will help to establish the young plants which were raised in our glasshouse and will prevent soil erosion and the loss of important nutrients. 

Pic 11 Spreading fresh Seaweed around spring cabbages  

Our pigs are enjoying a nice dessert of freshly harvested beetroots, which were growing in our ornamental bedding scheme and would not be the best variety to consume by us.  

Pic 12 ‘Recycling’ ornamental Beetroots! 


Your Head Gardener 

Anja Gohlke