What's looking good in autumn 2022

Autumn always feels like the end of the year in the garden as we start to make preparations for next year during the colder months.

The team has been pleased with the style in which we’ve grown and harvested our fruit and veg this year with far more being sold to visitors and used in our kitchens. This project will continue to gather pace next year as we aim to become more self-sufficient in the food that we eat in the Gardens and our College.

At the time of writing, we have sent nearly fifty large, black bins of windfall apples to HFT which process the juice for us to use in our restaurants and take half of the juice to generate income for their charitable work. If you have any spare apples from your trees, do contact them.

Our Dry Meadow is producing lots of seed which we are collecting in order to grow our own plants to sell in the visitor centre.

West Dean Gardens nursery and recycle scheme
This winter, we will be setting up our West Dean Gardens Nursery to stock the plant sales area which gives visitors a much greater choice of plants that are growing in the garden and gives us control over the types of compost and amount of plastic labels that are used.
If you have any spare, plastic pots, we will be starting a recycling scheme whereby we reuse old pots, trying to avoid buying new plastic when it comes to our new nursery. Keep an eye out in the visitor centre as we’ll be setting up a drop-off point for pots in the coming weeks.”

The winter stem beds
We have recently installed a fence to prevent any hare or rabbit damage but deer continue to prevent the young shrubs from establishing. The gardens team will keep a close eye on this as the months go by and keep trying to come up with a solution whereby these young shrubs can get a good start.

New spring flowering shrub beds, a Dye Garden and replanting the River Beds will all take place this winter, along with a pond renovation at the end of the Wild Garden.

Do stop a gardener and ask about new projects, as they’ll be more than happy to let you know how things are progressing.

With best wishes,

Tom Brown, Head Gardener