THIS September we have had a very windswept time with up to 50mph winds whistling through the walled gardens, but with a lot TLC (tender loving care) from the castle garden team you would hardly notice it in the hot and English borders, the plants have been re-staked or pruned back and areas have generally been tidied up.
Our Salvias ‘Hot Lips’ and Salvia uliginosa are still in full flower, whilst others are going to seed such as Salvia Patens which have a lovely pale or deep blue flowers, one of our favourites Salvias is viridis commonly known as Clary have wonderful blue, pink, white and purple brackts (coloured leaves) which have been stunning throughout the summer.
We are now collecting the seed the salvia seeds and in the case of Salvia viridis seeds, they’re sticky and a little more time consuming than most seeds to collect as you need to remove the tiny seeds from the husks.
In the case of Salvia Patens and other plants such as poppies you will need a supply of brown paper bags or envelopes for this task, a good pair of secateurs or sharp scissors.
You can tie the bag over the head and then just shake the seeds into the bag.
Try to collect whilst it is a dry day (around noon when it is at its hottest, with a bit of luck!).
It is always good to mark the plant you want to collect the seeds from prior to it going to seed, to ensure you collect the correct seed.
For example, if you have a number of different plants in a border label or mark the ones you want the seeds from, to ensures you collect the right ones.
One of the most talked about plants in the organic kitchen garden at the moment are the Tree Tomatoes or Tomatillo.
They are about seven feet tall and have very attractive fruits dangling from the branches. The fruits can be eaten fresh by cutting it in half.
Originally grown in South America, Bolivia and northeastern Argentina, it’s been commercially grown for the past 50 years in New Zealand, and is easily propagated from seeds and requires frost-free conditions.
Our Tamarillo trees are overwintered in the Vine House and only brought out in the summer.
The ripe fruits are ideal for jams, jellies, chutneys, syrups and sauces. They can also be cooked and added to soup and stews. The fruit is an excellent source of vitamins A, B6, C and E.
Tips from the castle garden team:
n Sow winter salad crops
n Plant spring bulbs, but only plant your tulips and hyacinths in October and November
n Plant evergreen shrubs
n Deadhead and support your Dahlias and set your earwig traps
For further information on the castle, garden tours, opening times and upcoming events visit our website at www.arundelcastle.org