There's definitely been a nip in the air recently when we start work here at 8am - it feels like autumn might be on the way. The days are still warm, though, and there's no sign of any leaves turning on any of our magnificent trees - yet. Our neighbours at Westonbirt Arboretum say they are expecting a "slow release firework display" of colour this autumn, given the weather we've had - so with any luck it'll be the same here.
We've just had our most successful August Bank Holiday ever, with record visitor numbers visiting both the Garden and attending our outdoor theatre productions. For once, the weather played ball! We enjoyed this review by Karen Whitlock, who also took some lovely pics. This week we'll be drawing the winner of our "name a duck" competition, to name three of the five Cherry Valley ducks which joined our team earlier in the summer. We've had some fantastic suggestions - the lucky winners will get to come and help us feed the ducks at some point before the end of the year.
Out in the Garden, it's still growing season and we're harvesting merrily from the Kitchen Garden - runner beans, beetroot, bijou carrots and courgettes are all either being used in the cafe or available for sale from our produce stall. We're down to the last of our speciality potatoes and there are still a few bulbs of garlic left - very potent! We're expecting another delivery from Jeff, our lovely nurseryman this week, so there should be some gorgeous new plants to buy from our plant sales area.
Backstage, we're getting organised for next year - the first bulb delivery is in, and we're already sowing for the replanting of the Exedra Garden. We've also been temporarily housing a homing pigeon with a poorly wing who we've christened Louis (because that's where we found him!) With any luck we'll be able to re-unite him with his owners imminently - in the meantime, he's been enjoying our hospitality, whilst eyeing us somewhat suspiciously. He likes the grain we feed our ducks, but not malted milk biscuits, it turns out.