By now the herbaceous borders are brimming with dahlias and cosmos. Some of the combinations are dainty and cool as with this pretty Dahlia Eveline  vying for space amongst the pink cosmos. Lilac phlox and white anemones are also lovely in the cottage garden and by now the blue Michaelmas daisies are pretty by the solardome.

This is a wonderful time of year for the special autumn light on the ornamental grass borders with their links to various artists which creates a marvellous atmosphere as you weave your way through the paths which transect them. Golden grasses of various kinds now joined by towering miscanthus vie with tall solidago, whispy purple verbenas, and lots and lots of echinaceas including ‘Fatal Attraction’, ‘Green Envy’, beautiful ‘Green Jewel’, ‘White Swan’ and notable ‘Virgin’ as well as pinks underplanted with blue Geranium ‘Rozanne’, sedums etc. The bees and butterflies love them all. It is magical to wander through the paths which dissect the borders enjoying the movement and back light.

By mid September the pampas are beginning to flower among the white stemmed birches. The show will go on all winter.


Many of the late flowering clematis will still be looking really good especially ‘Polish Spirit’, Royal Velour, Black Prince, Kaiu, Carmencita, Perle d’Azure, rehderiana, and all the yellows, many with fluffy seedheads. We have species serratifolia, pretty tanguticas as well as Aurelion, excellent Bill Mac Kenzie and dainty Golden Tiara.

The containers are at their best in the old fish pond which is full of exotic fuchsias and begonias, spiky agaves and dasylirions, sumptuous black aeoniums and soft grey echeverias. They make a memorable display, complete with colourful step ladder. My book on Container Gardening (£9.99) provides lots of inspiration and ideas gleaned over the last twenty years. So many of my container are long term which just seem to get better and better as the years pass by.

Container gardening offers such a brilliant way to show off plants and I have lots of unusual ideas as my many visitors will testify….even a pair of ‘crocs’ and a tennis racket are planted here! All in all the garden is still looking wonderfully colourful and very atmospheric.

September in the Orchard

By now the orchard is rich with fruit including colourful crab apples, and delicious apples, quince, medlars and damsons. Groups can enjoy the process of seeing how we press the apples allowing fresh apple juice to flow out for tasting. We pasteurise it for next years open days and we also make live apple cider vinegar which is delicious. 

Workshops on apple pressing and apple cider vinegar can be arranged