Hello, harvest time

Put on your wellies, wrap up and make the most of glorious autumn

Pick (or roll!) a pumpkin, see wonderful heritage veg varieties, press your own apple juice and more as Partner Gardens around the UK celebrate the harvest season. 

Please check before travelling as additional charges may apply for some events.

Forde Abbey, Dorset

Autumn is a very productive time of year in the kitchen garden, when cut flowers including many dahlias happily intermingle with an abundance of pumpkins, cabbages, courgettes and winter salad leaves. This bounty is used as decoration in the house itself and also makes its way into visitors' lunches.
Things to do

  • Try your hand at pumpkin rolling on the main lawn (21 - 29 October)
  • Treat yourself in the tearoom where fresh produce features on the menu

More about Forde Abbey


Barnsdale Gardens, Rutland

These well-known gardens include an Allotment, Parterre and Kitchen Garden, growing a mix of familiar, unusual and heritage edibles, as well as many types of trained fruit.

In October, the harvest is in full swing, with staff gathering everything from apples, Asian pears and medlar to vegetable spaghetti, scorzonera and cucamelons.

Things to do

  • Join in the fun of the Scary Spooktacular family day on 29 October (noon - 4pm) for the chance to carve your own pumpkin 
  • Hone your fruit and veg skills with one of the garden's many courses, including Introduction to Organic Vegetable Growing (2 Oct),  Growing Superior Fruit (26 Oct) and Vegetables All the Year Round (25 Oct), which includes a discount for RHS members.

More about Barnsdale Gardens


Pumpkins at the Burton Agnes Michaelmas FairBurton Agnes Gardens, East Yorkshire

There's always plenty to eat at Burton Agnes Hall, thanks to the potager-style Kitchen Garden. Here, vegetables, herbs and cut flowers are grown on a four-year rotation.

In October, the trugs are full with parsnips, sprouts, apples, pears, late plums, leaf beet and kale. The recently planted nature garden includes apple trees associated with the local area.

Things to do

  • Visit the Michaelmas Fair (28 - 29 Oct) which celebrates the end of the farming year with delicious local produce, stalls, street performers, a fair organ and more.

More about Burton Agnes Gardens


Image: Arnhel de Serra / National Trust ImagesHam House, Surrey

Food has been grown in the historic walled garden for more than 300 years. Visit in autumn for stunning displays - expect seed heads and flowers, pumpkins, salads and herbs, and mature trained fruit trees covering the walls.

Several different types of squashes bathe in the autumn sun and there are plenty of crops ready for their overwintering, including broad beans, garlic, kales and broccoli.

Things to do

  • Pick herbs or salad leaves to take home from the Family Tasting Garden
  • Treat yourself to fresh produce in the shop - squashes 'Crown Prince' and 'Turk's Turban' are favourites
  • Join a Kitchen Garden tour (2pm Weds) to find out about the history of this productive area
  • Visit the Grand Salad Plot to see more than 35 ingredients that would have been used in 17th-century dinner parties

More about Ham House


Painswick Rococo Garden, Gloucestershire

Explore the large vegetable garden, restored to its original design from a 1748 painting by artist Thomas Robins. It is enclosed by, and divided with, espaliered apple and pear trees grown on post and wire supports.

The garden grows a broad range of annual and perennial vegetables, herbs and some soft fruit, all available to buy.

The Autumn Festival (20 - 22 October) is a seasonal highlight, with lots of produce on display and for sale in the old bothy, including a bumper crop of squashes and pumpkins.

Things to do

  • During the Autumn Festival, have a go at pressing apples and taste the delicious juice
  • Discover heirloom apple cultivars such as 'Ashmead's Kernel' and historic potatoes such as 'Vitelotte' and 'Gloucester Black Kidney'

More about Painswick Rococo Garden


Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens, Birmingham

Visit the large veg plot in the 18th-century ‘stylee’ for good crops of cardoons, artichokes, squashes and rhubarb, as well as a runner bean tunnel planted by younger visitors.

Some interesting heritage potato varieties have been planted this year, including 'Arran Victory', named to commemorate the end of the First World War. 'Together with 'Highland Burgundy' and 'Salad Blue', we're hoping to produce a red, white and blue mash!' said General Manager Glynis Powell.

This year's apple crop has been mixed - but Apple Day (15 October 2017) will go ahead undaunted with a focus on the urban harvest within the local community.

Things to do

  • On Apple Day, bring a bottle and juice your own fruit using one of the three donated apple presses.

More about Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens


Pumpkins at Clovelly CourtClovelly Court Gardens, Devon

Clovelly Court is home to a classic example of a Victorian walled kitchen garden, complete with restored glasshouses with their original manual levers.

The walled garden was built to give protection from the sometimes salt-laden coastal winds, and it still does its job today, allowing the production of peaches, apricots, muscat grapes, melons, tomatoes, citrus and more. All crops are grown to organic principles and in rotation, ensuring sweet tasting, wholesome produce. 

Things to do

  • Pick up homegrown apple juice and freshly dug vegetables to take home
  • See Mediterranean fruits and vegetables thriving in the magnificent lean-to glasshouses
  • Enjoy sweeping autumn views of Bideford Bay from Clovelly Court Great Terrace

More about Clovelly Court Gardens

Doddington Hall

The restored 0.8ha (2 acres) Walled Kitchen Garden grows a mouthwatering array of fruit, vegetables, salads and herbs. It's also an important part of the garden's education programme, helping give children hands-on outdoor experiences.

Head Gardener David Logan and his team use organic techniques, biological control methods and crop rotation to naturally maximise the yield.

Things to do

  • Bring your wellies ready to pick your own pumpkins (21 - 30 Oct). Choose one to carve or make a delicious seasonal dish (recipe ideas available in the Farm Shop). Just pay for what you pick. 
  • On Apple Day (24 October), head to the Kitchen Garden for apple tours and tastings, apple bobbing, and the chance to see apples being pressed for Doddington vintage apple juice. 

More about Doddington Hall

Other interesting kitchen gardens to visit

  • The impressive kitchen garden at Mount Stuart, Isle of Bute, was redesigned with assistance from Rosemary Verey.
  • Midney Gardens, Somerset, have enjoyed good fruit crops this year, resulting in some delicious cakes including a nectarine and red currant cake! Explore the garden's Turkish-themed kitchen garden.
  • For 2017, Dyffryn Gardens, Vale of Glamorgan, has a First World War theme, in which the beds have been filled with a variety of vegetables to commemorate the gardens being turned over for the war effort.


More autumn delights

Find out what's happening around the RHS Gardens this autumn, from tree festivals and craft fairs to foodie events to make your mouth water!

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