Clovelly Court Gardens. Lucy Halliday, Head Gardener
Clovelly Court Gardens crops are at last really soaking up the rain and filling out. The squash and pumpkins have thrown out a new flush of growth, though for some of the vines it was a little too late. The fine butternut squash variety ‘Tiana’ which we chose for this year is performing as reliably as ever at least. The celeriac are also beginning to swell and with good September weather they may still prove a successful crop despite having very much resented the dry weather over summer. Our Oca plants have done so well that the Guild of Oca Breeders was impressed enough to circulate my photo from the gardens on their Twitter feed for which we were most grateful. All good publicity.
As is seasonal, much of our work has again revolved around pruning as the South border stone fruit and pears became the target of the week. We are also getting in to a great new routine for fulfilling orders for the Red Lion which we hope will be mutually beneficial so we have done a great deal of harvesting. We’ve been pleased to send them juicy melons and fresh figs amongst the fresh produce this week.
At the Visitor Centre we have moved our display indoors as the autumn weather approaches and takings for produce and feedback about it are very positive. We have also launched our new gardens shop in the beautiful old Apple Store. This fantastic historic feature of the gardens has not been on display before so we thought we’d show it off as it provides a larger, more secure and more weather proof spot from which to sell produce.
With the rain come mowing and hoeing again as the mild weather has spurred a flush of grass and weed growth. We have a new bit of kit to deal with the weeds on the kitchen garden paths organically however. This will quickly burn off the weed growth along the paths which are too stoney to hoe. The softer, damper soil has made for perfect planting weather for our curly kale which will be cropping in early spring. Sadly many of our summer cabbage crop responded to the unaccustomed rain by tearing themselves asunder with the huge swell of growth. This is simply a loss we have to accept in a season of extremes. The good news is our later planting of red drumhead cabbages are looking great.
Our annual flowers are also keeping up a good display thanks to help from our newest regular volunteer recruits, bringing our total to 6. We owe a huge debt of thanks to these amazing local villagers who give their time for the joy of gardening.