As winter descends upon us and the warm weather fades, most head indoors. For those of us who love to garden, now is the time to make your final preparations before the cold spell sets in.

At Goldstone Hall Hotel, we are proud to have an award winning garden open to our guests, including a tiered herbaceous borders and one of the largest kitchen gardens in the UK with scented herbal walkway including over 100 different herbs.

Our Head gardener, Nick Huxley, shares his secrets on how he prepares the garden at Goldstone Hall Hotel for winter/spring during autumn:

Gathering fallen leaves
A tiresome job but someone has to do it. Get ahead before the weather turns inclement and rake as often as you can. Why not make a leaf mould to nourish your garden?

Cultivating conditions  
Now is the time to start planning for the next year ahead. At Goldstone, we’ve started clearing a siting of 140 sq meters under our old Cherry Tree to turn into a Wild Flower Garden. We are germinating over 100 different seed varieties which have been chosen to match our vibrant planting scheme in the Herbaceous garden.

Encourage more blooms
By removing flowers from plants which are fading or dead, you can encourage the proliferation of subsequent blooms.  Regular dead heading directs energy into stronger growth and yields more flowers. However the Goldstone roses are still in good bloom. We are still dead heading and we will reduce tall shoots now in case of heavy snow (which might over weigh the plants and loosen their roots etc.).  Full pruning will take place around March time–after the worst frosts. Rose shoot buds are susceptible to very cold frost and this should avoid the risk of damaging the key shoots for next year–reduce too much now and a cold snap could be disastrous.

Plant tulip bulbs for a spring displays next year
Tulips are celebrated for their vibrancy and varied colours and bring joy and cheer during Spring. Our annual tulip display is always admired by our guests. We plant our tulips to emerge just after the daffodils peak, and for 2019, we have included the Giuseppe Verdi (Kaufmanniana tulip variety), chosen for their bright striped colours and also Viridiflora in three varieties: Green Spirit, Spring green and Greenland.

Here is head gardener, Nick Huxley, planting out the tulip bulbs in front of Goldstone Hall Hotel