Garden news

Beech Walk, killerton

Here's a note from Karl, Killerton's Head Gardener about the garden in November.

Hello everyone,

Blustery days, misty mornings, swirling leaves and a chill in the air place us firmly in late autumn. Winter is on the horizon as the trees shed their leaves and the upper garden offers fresh sweeping vistas over the surrounding estate.

October has been a busy month in the garden with many tasks undertaken; the most significant of which is probably the start of work to replant the house borders following 2017's roof repairs.

A new planting scheme
A gardener planting in the house border at Killerton, Devon
A new planting scheme

The beds had been left fallow for a year to allow any unwanted seed to germinate and provide a blank canvas for planting. The soil level has been lowered in line with existing border edging and most of the new climbers have now been planted.

Getting the soil level
A gardener adjusting the soil level at Killerton, Devon
Getting the soil level

Chosen for their scent and for being unusual, the planting plan was developed using historical records from 1903, the last time that this area was re-developed by the Acland family. Planting of these beds will continue through 2019 and beyond as the team are able to source the required plants in line with the National Trust's strict environmental and ethical standards. These standards help protect wild colonies of plants and preserve irreplaceable ecosystems such as peat bogs.

Elsewhere around the garden

Eagle-eyed regular visitors will have noticed that metal edging has been installed around many of the beds and gravel path edges in the lower part of the garden. Although this work was carried out last winter, the cold spring and hot dry summer meant that the gardeners have only now been able to finish correcting lawn levels and repairing damage. Several areas required having levels raised with soil and fresh seed sown.

Helping new grass to grow
Sowing grass seed at Killerton, Devon
Helping new grass to grow

The warm but damp start to October provided the ideal weather for sowing grass seed. All areas have taken successfully and will be allowed to develop over winter and into spring before being reopened.

Regular visitors will also have noted that some of the permanent garden benches were showing their age with some of them rotted beyond repair. The gardeners worked with the ranger team to source appropriate lengths of timber from the estate to rebuild these benches.

A more rustic bench for a picturesque landscape
New benches in the garden at Killerton, Devon
A more rustic bench for a picturesque landscape

The new, more rustic bench is more in-keeping with the Picturesque style in which the garden was designed by the Aclands. The remaining fixed benches will be replaced in the new style as they reach end of life.

We hope you enjoy your visit, and if you have any questions for the team please do stop us and ask.

Karl, Head Gardener