Rambling Gardener

From the Garden: by Adam Quayle, Garden Manager

​OCTOBER

The gardening team have been busy weeding the flower beds over the last few weeks as the weeds have been particularly enthusiastic with their growing habit recently.  The team have been distracted elsewhere creating soakaways and dealing with diseased trees, enabling the weeds to take over.

This month we have met with Sandy Huyton, the founder of the Manx Hedgehog Conservation Society (MHCS), and released a beautiful female hedgehog called ‘Hattie’ here in the grounds of Milntown. Hattie had four months of care with the MHCS and it was wonderful to see a traumatised animal get well and return to the wild. We will be working alongside the MHCS in the future (keep an eye on our Facebook page and website for more details on this).

The gardeners are working alongside retired arborist Graham Lamb-Shine to develop the front woods. The Woodland Trust has helped regenerate other areas of the grounds and we will be working alongside them here too. The regeneration will involve the removal of any poor specimen trees and shrubs. The idea is to plant a mix of broadleaf trees and several interesting evergreens. Graham has grown several Sequoiadendron Giganteum and Sequoia Sempervirens from seed and we have planted them in and around the grounds which will eventually become superb specimen trees. Last year I took a trip to Bodnant Gardens in the Conwy valley and they have some truly spectacular specimens planted in the grounds which has set the brain in overdrive for the endless possibilities here at Milntown. If you haven’t been, you must. Their Camellias, Rhododendrons and Magnolia collections in spring are an absolute must see!

In the kitchen garden over last few days we have been picking apples for the café to make some ‘fruity’ delights.

This month in the garden, besides weeding and leaf collection, we will be trimming any hedges that have not yet received their September haircut. If any plants have not had their seed collected, this is the last chance. We will be cutting back any perennials that have died down and will start to divide the herbaceous plants that need it.

If you find yourself inspired to do some gardening, autumn has its own delights from the turning leaf foliage to the chatter of birdsong.  If you don’t have a garden of your own but fancy turning your hand to gardening, then why not try volunteering here at Milntown. We would be delighted to hear from you. Please contact me at garden@milntown.org.

Our Guided Garden Tours have now finished for the winter season and will be retuning in the spring.  But the team are absolutely delighted that we will be opening the gardens over the winter season for the first time – creating superb value for all of you with Garden Season Tickets.  There will still be plenty to see and, as always, the gardeners will be on hand to have a chat and answer any questions you may have about our gardens or your gardens.

All the best.