Seasonal tasks are under way amongst the spectacular autumnal colours, and we're starting a new floral lawn project
It seems an age since I last wrote a blog; but anyway here I am back again, at RHS Garden Harlow Carr. All the seasonal tasks are underway such as hedge cutting and clearing through. Kevin is busy scarifying the lawns and Malcolm is busy scything the annual meadows so it’s business as usual here. The grass is still growing away happily and it’s a good time to get grass seed germinating now before it really gets chilly.
Talking of grass seed we are just beginning an exciting new project in conjunction with the universities of Bristol and Newcastle. These trials will run over a two year period and it’s about creating pollinator-friendly floral lawns. The aim is to create a low maintenance lawn that can be mown at regular intervals, with little or no nutrient input and will produce a reasonable supply of floral resources for pollinators. There will be 15 separate plots created with different seed blends and different mowing regimes. All very exciting and I’ll certainly be putting up some photographs when we get going on that.
Glorious autumn colours
Elsewhere in the garden, the evening temperatures are dropping, and consequently the autumn colours are now starting to look glorious. The Vitis coignetiae in the Lakeside Garden area (formally Gardens Through Time) is vying with the colour of the wall behind it - both are a gorgeous, vibrant orange.
At this time of year, trees are putting on a splendid show, and at Harlow Carr, the Liquidambars are turning a delicious crimson, along with multiple shades of gold and red, complimenting the butter yellows of the silver birches - oh it’s a lovely time of year.
The garden's White Border meanwhile is bursting at the seams with height, texture and colour. The new White Border expansion which was planted up in June of this year has settled in nicely and is mirroring and matching it very well.
Needless to say, at this time of year everyone is scrutinising the new planting, scribbling notes and photographing diligently so that when the time comes, we can say with confidence what has performed well, and we'll also be able to identify what has been too vigorous or what hasn’t done so well.