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Phil Mennell, Rockliffe Hall’s Head Gardener, reflects on a busy summer and his plans for the forthcoming season

Time to look back on the summer and make plans...

The hot summer has has been fantastic, but has created some difficulties for us in terms of getting the new walled garden within Mischmasch fully operational. The Estates team have been extremely busy trying to get everything looking nice and keeping many new plants and stock alive through a very long drought. We’ve also been kept on our toes getting the new Mischmasch area complete for launch in August. 

On the good side the polytunnels and greenhouse have thrived, with plenty of tomatoes, cucumbers, courgettes, chilli peppers, sweet peppers. Also, our little trial area in the walled garden has performed better than expected with the potatoes, carrots, beetroot and onions all being very  successful.

Looking forward to the next month we will be making a start on the new raised beds inside the walled garden and planning what fruit trees and bushes will be housed in there. We’ll also be planning for the new season of produce, herbs and edible flowers that we want to be ready for spring time.

The greenhouse and tunnels will also been cleaned out ready for the winter and the heaters turned on ready for the new winter crops and summer bedding cuttings which will be used next year around the estate. Many things will be growing over the winter in the tunnel for the chefs to use and to be put out into the new raised beds in the walled garden.

This is a great time of the year to get on top of jobs in the garden and kitchen garden as it will save time and work load come the spring.

Find out more about the walled gardens and MischMasch