There's definitely been a chill in the air recently when we start work here first thing - it feels like autumn might be on the way. The days are still warm, though, and there's only a tiny inkling of the leaves turning on our magnificent trees. We've had enough rain to keep things green, and the borders are still bursting with colour - and with a reasonable weather forecast ahead, we're really looking forward to September.
August was a lovely busy month for us, with our hugely popular children's trail going down a treat. The rains came at about the right times, so we've had some respite from the constant watering of June and July. The staff and volunteers of Garden team have been extraordinarily busy keeping on top of the Kitchen Garden where it's still growing season, and we're harvesting merrily. Runner beans, beetroot, bijou carrots and courgettes are all either being used in the cafe or available for sale from our produce stall outside the Cafe. There are plenty of gorgeous freshly-cut flowers and you might also find some of our speciality potatoes there too. We've just had a delivery of gorgeous plants from Jeff, our lovely nurseryman this week, and there are now bulbs for sale in the shop, so there's plenty to tempt you if you're a keen gardener.
And somehow, as well as all this, the Garden team has found time to reinstate the Chinese gates (see lead image). These beautiful, historic gates used to form the entrance to the Garden from Painswick House and were in a poor state of repair. We removed them last winter to dry out, since when they have been off to our local woodworking genius for repair, returned to us for painting and are now back in situ on lovely new gateposts.
Backstage, we're getting organised for next year already. Deliveries of hardware for our various maintenance projects are arriving, and we are booking in our contractors to help us with the larger projects we have planned. Most excitingly, the bank opposite the lookout is in the process of being laid out for the reinstatement of our vineyard, which will be planted next April. It'll take a few years to mature, but in due course we hope to be harvesting grapes to make our own sparkling wine. Come and see how we're doing!