October already and the sensible gardener will be preparing for the w-word. Winter isn’t so bad and there are those wonderful autumn colours to enjoy first, plus jobs to do in the garden, diary date and more.
Hever Castle & Gardens, the romantic double-fronted castle once the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, is gearing up for an extraordinary display of autumn colour by offering visitors their first-ever guided tours of the lake.
Scientists are predicting a fantastic display of colour for 2017 following some stressful growing conditions including a drought in April and the prolonged heat in May and June.
Head Gardener Neill Miller and the Hever Castle gardening team will take visitors on tours of the lake area taking in the waterfalls, the new Monet style bridge, three Second World War pillboxes built to defend key crossing points on the River Eden, the changing trees, vivid wildlife and the impressive Japanese Tea House.
Neil says: “If we listen to the experts then we are due for a once-in-a-lifetime display of autumn colour this year. It certainly was dry in late spring and the sunny weather we’ve experienced this summer will have concentrated the sugar in the leaves which speeds up the appearance of red hues so the tree collection planted by William Waldorf at the turn of the 20th century will be suitably impressive. We want visitors to enjoy the spectacle as the rich yellow, red and orange leaves of beech mingle with liquidambars, tulip trees and Japanese maples, all contributing to an explosion of colour.” The team are keen to point out the foraging opportunities in the woodland and will be talking about fungi and identifying different species.
Visitors are also welcome to take their own self-guided tours with the help of an Autumn Colour Trail. The trail will encourage visitors to look out for trees of note and interest within the grounds, including some of the Scots Pines beside the lake which were brought to the garden from nearby Ashdown Forest by former owner William Waldorf Astor during the creation of the Garden in 1904-1908.
• For more information, visit www.hevercastle.co.uk, call 01732 865224 or email email@example.com