The weather has continued in the same vein as the first half of the year meaning we have seen a lot of rain and not a lot of sunshine with no long, hot, dry spells. This has benefitted all the newly planted areas which have thrived producing plenty of lush growth and extremely long flowering periods especially in the herbaceous borders.
The main work in the garden has been maintenance tasks; mowing and edging the lawns until the grass stopped growing in late October, weeding in the herbaceous borders and dead-heading on a monthly basis to prolong the flowering season, all the hedges were trimmed during August and September and leaf clearing has been an ongoing task for the last two months and will continue through November at least.
One big bonus of the wet mild weather that we have had this summer and autumn is that the displays of autumn leaf colour have been particularly good this year. The trees have also held their leaves for longer than usual as well meaning that the leaf colours have been displaying for September, October and well into November with different species showing leaf colour at differing times giving a succession of colours.
We were finally able to complete the Gravel Garden in October when the paths were covered with 20mm gravel and the rest of the borders had a smaller ‘pea’ shingle placed over them. The Thursday volunteers carried out this job and the end result looks good.
The last Open Day was a success with the garden looking the best it has all year because we had finally managed to get caught up with all the maintenance tasks. The Hardy Plants Society and The Friends of the Harris Garden shared the day and the only slight disappointment was that the stream wasn’t running because there had been a power failure in the Harbourne Building tripping off the power supply.
A new Crab-apple tree has been planted to replace the near dead tree in the crab-apple orchard by the old stump sculpture. This tree was donated to the garden by The Hardy Plants Society.
Good work continues to be done in the Autumn Border by Arne and Catherine (see Grass Roots article) pruning, digging, clearance work and some replanting.
Thank you to all the volunteers who are helping out in the garden either with the Thursday volunteers or at other times during the week whenever they can find the time. Their efforts are making a real difference and have meant that we can continue to improve all areas of the Harris Garden.