33,000 bulbs to plantready for next spring

ALTHOUGH we have closed our gates the garden team continue to work throughout the year and this is a busy time for us all. We are planting 33,000 bulbs and are half way there – phew!

The Arundel Castle garden team wish to thank everyone who visited our gardens this year and for their fantastic feedback, this has enabled us to focus on next year when we open again on April 1 for our spring extravaganza.

Our herbaceous boarders are being cut back, plants divided to either be potted on or replanted. We are planting them up with drifts of Tulips, Alliums and Dutch Iris bulbs, it’s always exciting planning the varieties and waiting for spring and summer to arrive.

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The flowerbeds are being top dressed using good organic manure, this will ensure the soil will have plenty of nutrients for the plants, attract earthworms and retain moisture to prevent the soil from drying out during the hotter months next year. Some of our garden team are busy collecting the endless fallen leaves, which are rotted down into leafmould – known as ‘black gold for gardeners’.

Roses - November is an ideal month for planting bare rooted Roses. When the bare rooted roses arrive I would recommend immersing the roots in water to soak before planting them. Ensure that the hole is large enough so as not to cramp the roots, incorporate some well rotted organic manure and a small handful of bone meal, fill in the hole working the soil around the roots and lightly tread it in and then water well.

Our Amaryllis and Paper White bulbs are being planted up ready to give a cheerful display in the castle.

In the organic kitchen garden Issy McKinley and the garden team are clearing the beds, adding good organic manure when it is dry enough.

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Issy is removing the tall seed heads of the many bronze fennel plants; these won’t be going on the compost though! Our chef explained that if you hang them to dry, you can not only harvest the wonderfully aniseed-scented seeds, but the stems can be snapped into storable chunks for flavouring in future stocks.

As in any garden this is a good time to tidy up the flowerbeds, glasshouses and general areas for winter, which includes cleaning out bird boxes, ensuring that food is put out for the birds, if you’re lighting a bonfire make sure that you check it for hibernating creatures first!

A few tips from the castle garden team:

This can be a good time to plant garlic, although you can leave it until spring.

Remove fallen leaves on your lawn to avoid risk of fungal disease and bare patches on your grass.

Leafmould or mulch is a good way of protecting slightly tender plants if spread lightly over the top during winter.

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