November is such an atmospheric month in the garden, the lakes display beautiful golden reflections, the (somewhat slippery) paths are now covered with a confetti of pink and yellow leaves. Leafless trees, reveal the beauty of bark and tree structure. Conifers and evergreen trees begin to be more noticeable. In reaction to low light levels, wet conditions and cooler days, the plants have started to slow down and head for cover, not to unlike our hardy gardeners and volunteers, who favour more indoor based work such as propagation, nursery work, label making when it all gets too much.
The grass is cut less frequently (phew!), most of the summer colour is finished, the flower borders are various shades of yellows and browns. We are moving plants under cover into the polytunnels and frames, protecting from excessive winter wet and frost. The seemingly endless cycle of leaf clearance has begun again, ready to add to compost. However, the reward for all this hard work is leaf litter, which is a fantastic mulch for plants.
In the garden there are still some pockets of colour, the unusual Autumn flowering snowdrops are popping up across the garden. Late summer flowering plants such as chrysanthemum, large leaved Salvia’s, late flowering Asters and Hydrangeas still provides pockets of colour. Ornamental grasses such as Stipa gigantea and Miscanthus ‘Malepartus’ offer structure to the garden. In the woodland there is lots of autumn leaf colour to be seen. The Sweet Gum (Liquidambar) and the Sorrell Tree. (Oxydendron) look particularly good.
Looking back at October Achievements
We are so excited to have prepped our marsh area so our national Iris ensata will be planted in spring. If you would like to find out more about Marwood Iris ensata please keep an eye on our website. One of our garden team has written an informative article, that has been published in the most recent Devon Plant Heritage Magazine.
Our main focus is propagation still. Camellia cuttings being taken for future years. Many more plants are now being lifted from the gardens and potted for sales next year, plants such as Astelia/Hesperantha that have thrived in the garden will be made available for sale next season. This winter’s Camellias are now potted, fed and ready for sale.
Development of far side of scree garden is underway. This area is being cut back and cleared with the intension of developing it into a scented winter garden. Already there are many Daphnes, scented Rhododendron and Japanese box in this area.
We have said goodbye to Fin. After a year and a half of volunteering, with us he has left to undertake an apprenticeship. He will be greatly missed by all the team.
We are happy to welcome back a some of our hardier volunteers, who brave the weather and help us through the winter months.
Season ticket holders walk
It was a beautiful sunny day (eventually) and there was a great turn out exceeding 50 people snaking across the garden. Much later than usual. Great success lots of autumn colour. Lots of old amusing stories recounted by Malcolm Pharoah (former head gardener)
Final piece of news, now that the garden is closed, we are pleased to welcome the season ticket holders Monday to Sunday.