Lucy Halliday, Head Gardener, Clovelly Court Gardens

Mid November

Clovelly Court Gardens seasonal produce is almost at a close, but it has been heartening to have plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables still leaving the gardens in November. Our little Apple Store shop has remained stocked, along with our stall at the Visitor Centre. We’ve continued supplying fresh produce to Clovelly’s Red Lion hotel and local pub. We have even had a stall of veg at the Herring Festival this week so that visitors could add Court Gardens goodies to their plate alongside freshly caught herring. We have all the hearty autumnal favourites like parsnips, leeks, red cabbage, celeriac, rainbow chard, Bramley apples and beetroot.

Strimming work has begun in earnest along the Long Walk to give this beautiful woodland garden area its winter haircut and allow the best display of bulbs and wild native flowers come spring. We have also continued work on the many rills and gullies and cleared some holly thickets where they’ve popped up. This work will continue until the end of the month.

There’s much to look forward to with tasks that centre around next season.

We’ve been planting colourful tulips for potted displays and around the entrance to the gardens. Work has also continued on the propagation of plants for next year’s sales and herb border. The tomato house has begun its transformation into the over wintering house for all the tender plant stock we are generating. Although sad to say goodbye to the chilli plants it is always nice to clean away the old and start off the new. As our glasshouse is lit, we can even continue propagation during the dark evenings.

Some seed saving has taken place this week of flower and vegetable seeds. Little brown paper bags full of promise are collecting in the gardeners’ mess room. I’m hopeful that we might share our spare seed with locals and visitors next year for a small donation. I also had the pleasure of meeting a new volunteer this week. A garden shared is a garden fully enjoyed and we welcome all who would like to join us to learn and take pleasure in this beautiful and fascinating place.