Friday, 25 October 2013


The week started with Victoria, our diploma student, and some of the wonderful volunteers stripping out the soft fruit from the raised beds. This is because the beds were only put in as a temporary structure a couple of years ago, as a result they are only very shallow and this caused problems for the plants that were in there.

Having said that, the Rhubarb has done extremely well and we have decided that they should be kept. They have been transplanted into some proper beds at the back of the kitchen and will definitely be used in their cooking.

Just as a side note - the bed in the bottom left hand corner of the above picture is covered in chicken wire to deter squirrels and rodent from digging it up as it has been planted up with lots and lots of red Tulips. This is a mark of respect as next year will see the centenary of the first World War commencing. It's going to look stunning next spring so please keep an eye out for it.

Above you can see the finished article with only the dwarf apple trees remaining.

The next job on the list was to remove the Laurel hedge surrounding the old tennins court, remove the tennis court surface, level the site and lay it to turf. Believe me when I say that this took a serious amount of work! We have done this because the tennis court has been unused for many years and had become derelict and an unused space within the garden. 

The digger made light work of removing the bulk of the hedge, but once this was done we had to go through and dig out / pull up the remaining roots by hand. The debris was then put together in one huge pile and we had a 'mega bonfire', including cooking of potatoes in the embers.

After this the site was cleared, the old surface removed and about 15 tons of topsoil as spread over the area. (spreading that much soil always gives the back a good work out.) Some of the existing hard surface was retained as this will become the new home of the summer marquee.

I want to leave you with a couple of pictures showing some of the most beautiful Autumn colour. This is my favourite time of the year and these 2 trees depict it perfectly in my opinion.

This is a photo I took from the top of the bell tower above the stable block. This is one of the 'Tulip trees' (Liriodendron Tulipifera), as you can see it has the most beautiful colour to it at this time of year and it seems to emit light on a gloomy day.  Below is the Scarlet Oak which can be found in the Walled Garden and looks just as stunning.


  1. Great blogpost Jonny - yes it was hard work spreading the topsoil around but well compensated for by superb views,autumn colours (tulip tree is stunning) and last but not least - great gardening team! Liz

  2. Clearing sounds a task. Are there rituals associated with Mottisfont bonfires?
    Loved the photos of autumn flaming trees.