Here's a note from Karl, Killerton's Head Gardener about the garden in November.
With the garden dormant, winter is the season when the team get really stuck into some larger projects come rain or shine.
A central feature of the garden is the Bear's Hut. Originally inspired by the Alpine travels of the 10th Baronet, this rustic chalet is made from natural materials that have a finite life. As such, periodic work is required to keep the structure in a sound condition and to maintain its appearance. Scaffolding has been erected for a thatcher who will work on the roof, replacing worn out thatch and making any other necessary repairs.
Behind the scenes, the team are making use of the current mild spell to deep clean the greenhouses in the garden yard. This involves washing down all glass work, replacing worn out matting and re-levelling the sandy base that makes the floor. Insulation will then be added over the winter to maximise energy efficiency.
Elsewhere around the garden
The epic task of leaf blowing and collecting leaves started in the autumn months and will continue well into December. With a large number of deciduous trees, the collection of leaf is a necessity to keep the wildflower meadows looking good year round. A continuous build-up of leaf will cause both grass and wildflowers to eventually die resulting in a significant impact to the appearance and diversity of the garden. The team use leaf blowers, rakes and sheets and a tractor driven leaf sucker to carry out this task. The chopped leaf is added to and mixed in with the rest of the year's compost.
The team have also been busy pruning the rosesin the herbaceous borders. An early winter/late autumn prune is done to reduce height and prevent damage from windrockthat can cause roses to split out at branch junctions.
Late winter would normally see roses revisited for a final formative prune. The team at Killerton carry out both prunes at once. This is done to save time and prevent damage to other plants during the busy spring period. It is facilitated by the protection afforded by old herbaceous material that the team won't cut back until the spring.
We hope you enjoy your visit, and if you have any questions for the team please do stop us and ask.