Digging Deeper from Summer - Autumn

The blue of late summer's hydrangeas contrast with the fiery autumn foliage of an acer in Trelissick garden, Cornwall

We hope you have been enjoying the garden over the summer, especially the newly planted entrance walkway where salvias, penstemon and poppies have been attracting droves of giddy bees.

Looking back

August is a busy month for visitors, but with heat and dry affecting both us and the plants, our tasks have been limited. We have weeded like mad and have finally reached the tipping point where we know we won't be back in the same place a few weeks later!

You may have noticed that all our agapanthus flowered poorly, and all flowers were removed. Sadly, like a lot of gardens, the agapanthus gall midge has withered the buds before they can open. Unfortunately, this is a problem that isn't going away so we will have to monitor the situation and see what we can do.

Garden highlights

Hydrangeas are the star this month, so we encourage you to take in as many types as you can, from the conical Hydrangea paniculata in front of the house, the dainty H. serrata on hydrangea walk, or the towering H. aspera in the dell. The brilliant thing about them is that even after the flowers fade, they still look stunning.

A shock of colour
Beautiful hydrangea at Trelissick, Cornwall
A shock of colour

Around the garden there are pockets of late fiery colour. Look out for persicaria, ginger lilies (hedychiums), and the odd red hot poker (kniphofia). The Cornus kousa behind the tennis lawn should be developing its bright pink fruit, and is well worth a trip out to see.

The orchard is heavy with fruit and although we are not hosting ‘Apple weekend’ this year it doesn't mean you can’t enjoy the apples. We welcome you to go ahead and try something tasty, just be wary of the cider varieties that may give you a bitter surprise!

'Hockings Green'
'Hockings Green' apple in Trelissick orchard
'Hockings Green'

Jobs this month

As we descend into autumn, we are going to be rushing around tidying bits that have gone over and keeping the garden looking fresh. We have no doubt that leaf blowing will increase week on week.

It's also time for us to take semi ripe cuttings from the rhododendrons and camellias so we can preserve our special collection. It's a torturously long wait to see if they root or wither (some of last year's cuttings are still undecided), but it's great to know that if it succeeds and they are cared for, they could well outlive us.

As the temperature cools, we are going to take the opportunity to split and move around some of our ground cover to give it a little helping hand to spread. Also, excitingly, we are looking forward to planting out hundreds of plants we have been hard at work propagating over the past year.