11 Oct Autumn 2022
Here we are approaching the end of another extraordinary year in the gardens. The climate over the previous 12 months has been more like living on a Greek island with hot, semi-arid conditions for months on end following a mild, virtually frost-free winter. A reminder if we needed one of how we need to adapt our gardens to the already-apparent shift in weather and more radical predictions to come.
The Long Border at Chippenham Park has been devastated over the summer and is only slowly and partially recovering. Plants and shrubs selected 20-30 years ago have withered over the months of drought in our free-draining soil. A major re-think is required.
Traditional, large areas of lawns are making no sense. Many hours of upkeep and other resources such as feed, water and fuel to keep them looking good goes against the grain today. We have already let large areas grow long and we are pleased with the late summer ‘savanna’ vibe. The contrast between the cut green paths and the longer, golden wavy meadow is appealing.
We are planning 4 new borders on the eastern lawns in front of the house. Focusing on drought-tolerant perennials and ornamental grasses to create a long avenue which will give months of interest right into the winter frosts. We will be breaking ground in the next few weeks with the first plants going in later this autumn. This is the first major area of new planting in 25 years or more. You heard it here first. Watch this space.
The gardens will be open this Sunday 16th October 10-4pm. We very much look forward to welcoming visitors for our final day this year.