Autumn harvest in the Kitchen Garden

Butternut squashes laid out to rest after being harvested in kitchen garden at Knightshayes

Every year, it seems that summer passes more and more quickly. After the hive of activity in June and July the garden is finally mellowing in to Autumn. As the nights grow cooler, the gardeners finally adjust their pace and the weeds (thankfully) begin to slow their growth. The gardeners are always astounded by the abundance of produce at this time of year and autumn is a rewarding season indeed.

Rich pickings

As September hits, the potato rows are almost all harvested and we start to keep a keen eye on the jungle-like squash and pumpkin beds. As the vines begin to slump, they reveal jewel-like colours and all the excitement of Halloween to come, where the pumpkins we grow will be used to decorate the house.
At the start of autumn there are many of the treats of late summer such as succulent figs and juicy raspberries, cucumbers continue under cover and tropical treats like Cape Gooseberries give up their fruits. It’s a busy but bounteous harvesting time with onions and garlic drying in our polytunnels, marrows tucked away in the mushroom house and into October, the rooty goodness of celeriac and parsnips start to head over to the Stables café.

Early autumn is also a time for pruning the pears and apples. As autumn progresses, we start to cut things back and gradually rediscover the more orderly geometric structure of the gardens design under the blousy layers of summer growth. October and November can be a satisfying time of tidying and mulching; an investment towards the productivity of next year.

The first of the squash harvest at Knightshayes
Harvested squashes laid out on table by gardeners
The first of the squash harvest at Knightshayes

Getting ready for the first Terrific Tomatoes event.

Upcoming events

The House in Winter Talks

Mon 21 Jan 2019
Discover what happens at Knightshayes during the winter months. Enjoy a brief introductory talk to the history and family who once lived here.

Sunday Roast Lunches

Sun 27 Jan 2019
Enjoy one of our delicious Sunday roast lunches in the stables café. Made using local produce, much of it grown in our very own Kitchen Garden, it's the perfect way to warm up after your winter walk and treat yourself after exploring everything...

Beating the Beasties Half Term Trail

Sat 16 Feb 2019
This half term you can find out about the beasties both in the house and the gardens who our teams have to keep from munching on the house and things in the garden.

Spring Seed Swap

Sat 02 Mar 2019
Flex your green fingers and take home your own piece of Knightshayes by coming along to our spring seed swapping event in the kitchen garden. Bring along your own surplus seed to swap with other local gardeners, and pick up some seeds from our...

World Book Day weekend

Sat 09 Mar 2019
Come and join in the World Book Weekend with the National Trust at Knightshayes. With drop-in storytelling sessions in the Drawing Room and the chance to make your own bookmark, it's a chance to celebrate the joy of reading. Don't miss the chance...

Mothering Sunday Lunch

Sun 31 Mar 2019
Bring mum along to Knightshayes and treat her to a day out that shows her how much you care.