OPG diary – October 2021

A rainy start to October! Autumnal tones everywhere now. The bees are still out in force though.

Our Halloween Spooky Spiders Trail went down well with Charlton House Explorers this half term. There were 10 spooks to find around the garden, and it kept them all busy after their Ghosts and Gargoyles session in the Long Gallery. We had 140 children through the gardens over the two days, phew.  Great fun, although we didn’t do much gardening this week!

Autumn colours

I have been reading that the Autumn colours this year should be lovely, following an unusually warm September and the coming month will provide an opportunity to get out into the gardens to experience these first hand.

One of the most spectacular displays may be at Stourhead in Wiltshire, where exotic species such as tulip and katsura trees stand alongside natives such as oak, beech and birch. Tom Hill, who looks after sites at Winkworth Arboretum in Surrey and Petworth Park in West Sussex, says he can already see the colours beginning to change. And it isn’t just the colour of the trees. At Mount Stewart in Northern Ireland, the assistant head gardener, Oliver Johnson, says he loves the light at this time of year.

Living as we do, on the edge of Kent, within fairly easy reach of a number of lovely gardens, it might be worth taking advantage of our privileged location. With the evenings already drawing in and with the potential of further localised lockdowns due to coronavirus, taking the time to notice nature and to take in the colourful landscapes that we can see at this time of year seems more important than ever.

Simon Toomer, a plant specialist at the National Trust, says that “The particular dusky, heavy scent of autumn and the sounds of crisp leaves crunching under foot, will all serve to help our wellbeing through the next few colder, darker months.”


Vija

OPG diary – October 2020

13 October
Heroic (and very wet) volunteers in the garden today. A lot of the plants from our shopping trip to Provender Nurseries are now in place. We really appreciated extra help from students from the University of Greenwich, who sportingly also got very wet. Donations of cinnamon buns from Charlton Bakehouse went down well. Thank you everyone. The picture below will be used as a ‘Before’ picture – so looking forward to taking some ‘After’ pictures next year!

CABAHS volunteers in the Old Pond Garden, Charlton House, October 2020

20 October
Another glorious Autumn day! Lots of volunteers and a bit of sun, what more do you want? We discovered the friendly Greenwich Carers café in the Stables next door. Bring your own cup/mug.

CABAHS volunteers in the Old Pond Garden, Charlton House, October 2020
CABAHS volunteers, Charlton House gardens, October 2020

22 October
Our Oak-leaved Hydrangea is turning a lovely colour. Look what has taken up residence in it – a crab spider. Apparently they camouflage themselves but it takes a few days to change colour – this one must have been in a white flower recently!

Crab spider on Hydrangea quercifolia, Charlton House gardens, October 2020

Online Autumn Potato Competition 2020

The winner of 2020’s competition was Tim, with an enormous harvest weighing 3lbs 13 oz! The prized packet of crisps was donated to the food bank instead of being presented to Tim as meetings were suspended. Close runner-up was Peter with a yield of 3lbs 8 3/4 oz. Peter’s consolation was that he had a well deserved bangers & mash supper. Thank you to everyone who competed and sent in their photos!

CABAHS annual potato competition 2020