After a wonderful summer season enjoying all the colour, fragrance and wildlife that our new Court Garden has produced for us, we are now starting to trim and tidy through the beds as the perennials finally come to the end of their flowering season and return their energy to beneath the soil to power them through the chilly winter months ahead.
The recent storms were harsh, but we are fortunate that most of the planting has remained intact despite some aerial assaults from some smaller but rather heavy branches and cones from the large Cupressus macrocarpa tree which dominates the space above the walls and towards the entrance and the ‘hot’ side of the garden.
Most of the salvias are still looking very colourful and holding on to their flowers despite the best efforts of the wind and rain including Salvia 'Amistad', Salvia uliginosa and Salvia 'Wendy’s Wish'. Not to mention our favourite Mexican Salvia leucantha which is still smothered in wonderful soft and velvety mauve and white flower spikes, and which are also fabulous for any late bees who like to visit between the showers.
As well as the Salvias, our unusual Tree Fuchsia, Fuchsia arborescens, is also still looking superb with panicles of bright pink flowers followed by juicy purple-black fruits – those planted in the Court Garden are all still fruiting and flowering in abundance and will hopefully continue to do so throughout the autumn and winter if the weather allows.
We will be sorting through all the beds in the coming weeks, and you will see some gentle, gradual changes as the summer annuals are replaced with winter flowering violas, scented dwarf wallflowers, hyacinths, narcissus and pretty forget-me-nots which have all been grown in our on-site nursery to provide pockets of colour and fragrance to see us through to the spring and early summer.
Also, we will be moving the large succulent planters to beneath the covered area and replacing those outside with some new pots featuring some beautiful tulips to look forward to in April and May. We also have some new planters coming in soon to furnish underneath the pavilion area along with our well-established lemon trees.
As we are usually blessed with a warmer winter microclimate here at Trebah, we are planning to leave most of the cannas, bananas and dahlias in situ treated with a deep mulch for the time being and will monitor the weather forecast with a view to moving them only if we have unusually cold and wet conditions coming our way.