Roses along the Oak Pavilion Walk are flowering wonderfully; the blue/purple ones (‘Rhapsody in Blue’) are beautifully scented.

The Bishop’s Children Dahlia’s are still spectacular in the cutting garden–frost willing.

Head gardener Nick Huxley is working on the massive task of trimming the Leylandii hedge at the bottom of the garden–this brute of a hedge was planted in the 70’s when the dreaded L was all the rage. It is double planted and between four and five metres wide. You can see with lots of care they will form a tight disciplined feature hedge–my advice is “don’t do this at home”! 

The garlic chives in the herb walk (Allium tuberosum) and by the front door have been a great late flower feature, and still going strong.

The Szechuan pepper tree below the cutting garden is covered in tiny red peppers–try at your own risk! Looks fantastic; great crop, and far more than we will ever use in a year, or even five. 

The sloe harvest will take place mid-October; these small blue fruits are sharp but intensely flavoured like damson. They will form the base of about 8 gallons of sloe gin that we will start to steep in demi johns–ready in time for Christmas.

Enjoy your wander in the garden; you could try a Tanqueray gin and Fever Tree tonic with Goldstone Szechuan pepper garnish to accompany.

John Cushing