6 October 2022

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Autumn is officially here and I must say it does come as a welcome relief from the hot dry Summer. September saw the garden teams start to tackle the dry lawns. The lawns had to be scarified to remove so much of the dead grass that had been scorched by the hot sun and extremely warm winds. It was almost like having a thousand hot hairdryers going all at once. It was no wonder they went yellow and dry under so much stress.

The rain has been a welcome sight for the garden and although it was never enough, it was very much needed. It has at least seen the grass green up in places. This is the perfect time for the autumn lawn maintenance whilst there is still some warmth in the ground. Throughout October the lawns will continue to be worked on with the addition of an organic fertilizer to help see it through the winter.

October has seen the window boxes removed from front court as well as the tender plants in pots. These have been removed and placed back in the cold frames and greenhouse for winter protection and to allow us to propagate some more plants for the future. This year we will not place out the window boxes for autumn/winter display as we turn our attention to our planting for the new build landscaping. Activity is starting to accelerate and I have been having meetings with the Landscapes Architects as we finalize the planting plans. This should be happening soon as the optimum time for plant establishment is between October and March. Watch this space.

Late September has seen the garden team continue with the Meadow Management program. A process of removing all of the cut debris was completed. The next phase was to prepare the ground for an Autumn sowing of annual wildflower seeds. These will be in addition to the perennial seeds that will have fallen from last season’s crop. These should start flowering from May next year onwards.



                                               Above; Jon, Kate and Doug continue the Meadow Management Program

Many of you will have noticed that the pond levels dropped towards the end of September. This was due to a problem with the Hobsons Conduit much further back at its source. The flow rate was only one fifth of what it should have been. This has now been rectified but it did give us a chance to carry out essential maintenance on the paddock pond whilst the levels were low. The team worked hard reducing the growth of the marginal plants as they tend to continue spreading from time to time.


                                                                              Above; Low pond water levels


                                             Above; Phil and Rob assessing the growth of the marginal plants 

October will see the garden team continue these tasks in order to keep the water ways working correctly. It will also mean that the garden team start the relentless task of clearing the leaves. A process that will take us through to Christmas. Plenty of leaves for composting though so we do look to the positives of the long and arduous task. If you do see any of the garden team working hard clearing leaves just come and say hi. It will probably lift their spirits a little.

Best Wishes

Brendon Sims (Head Gardener)

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