As the new Head Gardener at Exbury Gardens, I am looking forward to the new season of 'mists and mellow fruitfulness' as we reach the equinox and autumn officially starts.
This time of year is especially lovely here at Exbury as our National Collection of young Nyssa trees come into their own with a build up of exquisite autumn colour ranging from gold through to deep scarlet.
With that to look forward to, now is the time to enjoy the herbaceous border and Sundial Garden with displays of Japanese Anemones, (Anemone hupehensis), and the Pampas grass, (Cortaderia sellowana), with its large fluffy seed heads at their best at this time of year.
Exbury is already well known for its fine autumn colour but did you know we have a wide range of fungi that pop up everywhere? Look out for them on the lawns and in amongst the bushes. Also there are several varieties that specialise at growing on trees such as the spectacular cauliflower fungus and the beefsteak fungus.
Late summer and early autumn is also the best time to take semi-ripe cuttings of woody shrubs and perennials. They can be kept in a cold frame or greenhouse over winter. In the spring check for root growth and pot the young plants on. This is a great, and cheap, way to rejuvenate your own borders by replacing old overgrown plants with fresh new ones.
And finally for this week, a reminder not to forget to visit us when we are displaying our fabulous collection of Nerine sarniensis from 1st October to 6th November, see photo to the right as a taster.