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

Golf, gardens and guides: Joyce, Lady Amory's story

Mon 24 Sep 2018
Joyce, Lady Amory, the last member of the family to live at Knightshayes, left a tremendous legacy. Join us to discover the trail she blazed in women's golf in the 1920s and her role in creating the stunning famous garden here.

Hospiscare Breakfast Run

Sun 30 Sep 2018
Roll out of bed, grab your trainers and raise pounds in your pyjamas for Hospiscare! The whole family is welcome to run, walk or jog raising funds for their local hospice and then enjoy a well-earned breakfast in the beautiful setting of...

Recital of Pachelbel's Progress

Mon 01 Oct 2018
Simon Arnold, a volunteer for the National Trust, has started a challenge to play nearly every working piano or organ at a property in the south west, all to raise money to help keep music alive in these historic places.

Autumn Antics Trail

Sat 20 Oct 2018
Pick up our nature trail that will guide you around kitchen garden and garden this October half term.

Make a Lantern

Mon 22 Oct 2018
Prepare for the spooky evening opening by dropping in to make a your very own spooky lantern to help light the way down to the house and garden.

Twilight Opening

Mon 22 Oct 2018
Make the most of the last of the autumn sun and explore the gothic decorations in the house before darkness falls and it becomes really spooky...