Well it has been a while since my last post partly due to increasing work in the garden and partly due to the wonders of modern technology which does not co-operate at times!
We have been fortunate to have a very mild and warm autumn which has given the Dahlias in the vegetable gardens and the tender Salvias on the Terrace beds a field day. The Nasturtiums have had their most rampant year we can remember and we were still having to cut them back well into November.
Sadly it all came to an end with a couple of frosts Bonfire night weekend, when the volunteers and I returned to a sea of Nasturtiums looking like a mass of dead green spiders.
After a chilly morning of clearing up the mess and opening up a new compost heap for the mountain of frosted plants we needed a nice log fire to warm up with (once the crows nest was removed from the chimney!).
The grasses we planted for sensory planting have performed well and in particular Molinia ‘Transparent’ has turned a gorgeous shade of gold on it’s airy seedheads. The fluffly and ever tactile seedheads of Pennisetum ‘Hameln’ are looking good and lasting well too.
The mild weather has also made the leaves cling to the trees and we have had some beautiful russet and lemon shades in the woodland. I always think that on the greyer dull days we have now returned to they seem to almost glow in the dark. Well worth a look at and a scrunch through the leaves which have dropped.
Bright yellow beech tree leaves seem to hover in the air unsupported.
There are all manner of different mushrooms coming up all over the gardens (please don’t eat them). The most interesting one that caught my eye was this small, pure white mushroom covered in tiny little balls making it look spiky from a distance.
We had a mammoth apple crop this year and picked over 16 crates, which I took to Clynfyw Care Farm to be juiced, pasteurised and bottled. So far we have had 100 bottles returned to us, with more to come. All the monies raised from the juice go back into the garden. You can purchase the juice at the garden from the gardener Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays when I am there. I can’t leave it out for sale as it is in glass bottles.
We have begun the process of applying for a lottery bid to re-surface the paths in the garden amongst other improvements. Thankyou to all the visitors who filled out surveys on survey monkey and in the garden. We are also applying for a grant from the Ashley Family Foundation to restore the much missed dragon to the garden, add some more play equipment and also some seating in the Woodland Walk. Our charity partner Sainsbury’s Lampeter Store also helped out with the preparation for our Grand Plant Sale an event which raised just over £280 for the garden including apple juice sales.
Our next garden event is this Thursday 17th November at the holiday centre for Dementia Awareness. Staff will be on hand to talk about techniques to help you manage people with memory loss and there will be a guided tour of the gardens and bulb planting. Refreshments will be served in the holiday centre. 1-3pm.
We are also beginning our ever – increasing list of winter maintenance works, so please check facebook before you visit as if we have had to close we will list it on there. We have begun with the refurbishment of the round stone pond replacing the capstones and repairing the damaged section of wall. We hope to have this job finished weather permitting over the next week. A huge thankyou to those visitors who attended our fundraising bubbles and berries evening and to Inspirational Lifestyle Services whose match funding has made the restoration of this popular feature possible.
Measuring to cut the final curved piece of reclaimed stone.
Also on the agenda for winter works are replacement of fencing (particularly since we have had vandalism on the fencing over the past few weeks). Repairing the stone donations cairn, we have removed the top courses of stones as they had become unstable due to repeated attmepts to break in. Mortaring and re-pointing capstones on walls within the garden and fencing off the den which parents are not able to see into in accordance with health and safety advice. The two small bridges in the garden need worker to stop the decking boards moving too. We have had the chains in the playground adjusted using the adjusters which were built in, but this has not taken enough of the slack of them and we will have to look at finding a contractor to come out and spot weld them after adjustment. The gardens will be shut for a day in order to have a big clear up in the woodland area and subsequent bonfire, which we can only have right in the middle of one particular part of the path or we would scorch the trees. I am waiting on the leaves dropping to see if we need any tree works this year, fingers crossed!
I will leave you with an autumnal picture of the garden to encourage you to come out even in the welsh mizzle for a walk here.