What To See In November

Griselinia littoralis Variegata

Griselinia littoralis 'Variegata' (Photo credit: Peter Cunnington)

Cafe Courtyard

Most of the interest and colour here centres around variegated evergreens notably the so-called laurel, Aucuba japonica ‘Variegata’ with its cream-spotted leaves and the New Zealand Griselinia littoralis ‘Variegata’ with its white-margined foliage. The latter is a fine subject for coastal planting as its specific epithet suggests.

Stable Yard

The tall, yellow sunflower, a perennial species probably Helianthus decapetalatus and a Fire Thorn with red-orange fruits add colour to this area opposite the Atelier Studios craft units.

Walled Garden

Walk into the garden past the Visitor Centre and enjoy the sheltered calm away from November’s chilly winds.

Glasshouse – The potted plants, which stood outside through summer, need winter protection and have been brought in before the frosts can damage them. A collection of cacti, from Ness Gardens are on long-term loan and we shall care for them here until a new unit is built for them up the road at Ness. A fine example of inter-garden co-operation.

Salvia elegans

Salvia elegans (Photo credit: Peter Cunnington)

Vegetable garden – Brassicas such as, Cabbages, Sprouts and Broccoli, and Leeks, make up the bulk of winter vegetables. Beans have been harvested as seed for next year and the ground that they and others occupied left fallow to be prepared for next year’s crops. We have sown autumn Broad Bean ‘Aquadulce’ for a head start next year.

Flower garden – Splashes of colour still greet those who move beyond the vegetables and close inspection will reveal a few late flowering stalwarts including the delicate Aster ericoides with its small white and pink flowers which are held in such abundance as to almost hide the leaves and two Mexican Salvias, Salvia elagans with pineapple-scented foliage and the velvety orange-red flowers of Salvia confertiflora. In the corner by the compost heaps the feathery seed heads of Clematis tangutica will shine silver on sunny days.

Pink Viburnum x bodnantense against the wall of Newton House (Photo credit: Peter Cunnington)

Leave the Garden by the Arched Gateway

Cross the drive into the Sunken Garden where work concentrates on the hedges to bring them down to a manageable size. Outside, Hollies are carrying their shiny, red fruits soon to be eaten by birds, and the fallen leaves of the Garden’s trees make a carpet of yellows and browns and a satisfying ‘scrunchy’ noise as you walk. Follow the shale path past the Ice House, now closed to protect hibernating butterflies and bats and on to the front door of the Manor to enter the North Garden by a flight of steps.

The North Garden

Pink Viburnum x bodnantense against the wall of Newton House and evergreen Abelia grandiflora below Squirrel Lodge are now in full flower.