During the last two weeks we have experienced a pleasant and unexpected spell of lovely autumn weather; hazy sunshine let the autumn colours on trees and the surrounding landscape glow in warm tones and it was easy to accept the end of this years main season. Off-seasons can be very delightful when experienced under ‘proper conditions’!
Pic1 View over the Herb and Vegetable Garden with the Diamond Hill to the right
Pic2 The Mausoleum ‘tucked in’ under a canopy of trees
Most summer bedding plants are coming to an end, but a good few are still hanging in there and visitors are surprised at the late colour within the Walled Garden. Saying that, it is this time of year where we start to take the annual display out and replant spring bedding plants and bulbs. All summer bedding will go straight on our compost heaps where they rot down during a period of about nine months. A feed of powdered Seaweed, our own Comfrey and regular watering will speed up the rotting process. This years compost is exceptionally good, we did not even have to sieve it. The dark humus can be incorporated into the soil straight away which makes the planting of small spring bedding plants very easy.
Pic3 A still colourful autumn display in early October in the Formal Flower Garden
Pic4 Summer Bedding comes out and goes straight onto the compost heap
Pic5 Fresh Compost is incorporated into beds before planting
Pic 6: Spring bulbs in our Bothy and waiting to be planted, a net prevents mice attacks
This year was a very good one for apples in contrast to last year where we hardly had any. Our new Orchard where we only grow Irish Heritage varieties did particularly well. The nicest one would be the variety ‘Valentine’ (Not because of the name!). The flesh is very juicy and not too sweet. ‘Valentine’ must have gotten its name from the colour of the skin, though!
Pic7 Apple ‘Valentine’ ready to be picked
Pic8 Crab Apples are also ready for harvesting
We sadly lost our 18 year old cat Gadafy in August this year. She was part of the garden for so many years and it was not easy to see her go. Saying this, she was a great age for an outside cat! She must have caught thousands of mice in her life time. Gadafy was the last of our three original cats from restoration times, so we felt we have to give some other cats a new home instead.
So, Jacky and Jenny, both animal rescue cats, joined our team recently and they are best friends already. They also stay on top of their daily duties and keep the mice population down as much as possible!
Pic9 Jacky (left) & Jenny; I also call them Yin & Yang, even so the black is male and not negative at all!
That’s all the news from the Walled Garden for now.
Your Head Gardener
Jobs you can do in your own garden in October:
To Sow or Propagate
~ Freshly picked seeds of perennials
~ Semi-ripe cuttings of shrubs
~ Pot on pot pound plants into next size pots and feed
~ Hedges, Fruit trees and bushes
~ Spring bedding and bulbs
~ Everything what’s still out there!
(Nuts, Pears, Apples, Carrots, Parsnips, Leeks, Cabbages, Beetroot…)
~ Leave crops like Turnips or Leeks in ground for another while, can even overwinter if wanted
~ Autumn feed lawns, scarify if moss is bad
~ Keep on top of fallen leaves, rake or leave-blow regularly
~ Power wash slippery surfaces
~ Clean Gutters, could be a big build up of leaves