WhatToGrow - Autumn 2023

Page 12


Also in this issue

• Growing garlic

• 15 jobs for the Autumn

• Autumn vegetables

• Lets talk bulbs

Autumn There are no mistakes in the garden


Editor James Davis

Feature Editor Cheryl Elizabeth Davis


Lee Connelly

Cara Addison

David Gallacher

Emma Bailey

Chloe Weir

Jan O’Brien

Kelly-Jane Leach

Sandy Lipo




Media packs are available on request.


4 Lingfield Road





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Welcome to the Autumn Edition of WhatToGrow.

As the vibrant hues of summer yield to the enchanting embrace of autumn, our gardens undergo a graceful transformation, captivating our senses with a symphony of colours, scents, and textures. In this edition, we invite you to embark on a journey through the world of autumn foliage and the artistry of seasonal cultivation.

Amidst the gentle rustling of fallen leaves and the crisp kiss of the autumn breeze, we uncover a wealth of wisdom to guide you through this season of change.

Whether you’re a seasoned horticulturist or just beginning your green-fingered adventures, our pages are filled with inspiration, tips, and insights to make your autumn garden a masterpiece of natural beauty.

Keep gardening!

James Davis Editor Autumn Edition
JOIN THE CONVERSATION Facebook WhatToGrowUK Instagram whattogrowuk

This edition AUTUMN 2023

Autumn is a magical season

Lets talk bulbs!

Toms hidden garden

Grow your own garlic

There are no mistakes in the garden

Vegetables to plant in Autumn

Gardening voices

Autumn Gardening

Tea & Blooms

15 Jobs for Autumn in the garden

Easy Butternut Squash Bisque

3 4 6 8 10 12 16 14 18 20 22 24



By Autumn is a magical season in the garden, and I’m thrilled to share how families can make it even more enchanting by welcoming adorable hedgehogs into their outdoor space. These charming creatures play a vital role in our ecosystem, and by creating a hedgehog-friendly garden, we can offer them a safe haven during this time of the year.

One of the simplest ways to attract hedgehogs is by providing a cozy shelter. As the temperature drops, hedgehogs start looking for a warm place to hibernate. Families can make a hedgehog house using natural materials like leaves, twigs, and straw. By placing the hedgehog house in a quiet and undisturbed corner of the garden, these cute critters will find a snug retreat to curl up for their winter nap. We make our hedgehog home from a simple storage box with a 15cmx15cm hole in the front.

Autumn is also the time when hedgehogs start fattening up for hibernation. By offering them a variety of food, families can lend a helping hand in their preparation. A hedgehog’s diet includes insects, slugs, and worms, so avoid using harmful pesticides or chemicals that could harm them or deplete their food sources. Instead, let fallen leaves remain in some areas of the garden, creating a natural habitat for insects that hedgehogs love to feast on.

If families are feeling creative, they can also build a hedgehog feeding station. This can be as simple as a shallow dish filled with water and some hedgehog-friendly food like wet cat food or specialised hedgehog food, available in pet stores. By placing the feeding station in an open area away from potential predators, hedgehogs will feel safe while they enjoy the delicious treats.

To encourage hedgehogs to visit the garden safely, families can also create hedgehog highways. These are small gaps or holes in fences or garden boundaries that allow hedgehogs to roam freely between gardens in search of food and shelter. Hedgehog populations thrive when they have access to

multiple gardens, and hedgehog highways are an excellent way to support their natural movements.

By involving children in these activities, families can not only help hedgehogs but also provide valuable lessons in empathy, conservation, and the importance of caring for wildlife. Watching these enchanting creatures roam around the garden during autumn will undoubtedly create cherished memories that last a lifetime. So, put on your gardening gloves, get outdoors with the family, and let’s make this autumn a time of wonder and warmth for our hedgehog friends!

Skinny Jean Gardener


Lee Connelly is The Skinny Jean Gardener from CBBC Blue Peter and The Uk’s Leading Children’s’ Gardening Educators.

You can find more great ideas from Lee and his daughter Olive in their ‘How to get Kids Gardening’ book, available at https:// skinnyjeangardener.co.uk/shop/how-to-getkids-gardening-book


Let’s talk bulbs


By I have this boring strip of West-facing lawn along the side of my house. It’s a new-build and the stony, rubble filled earth that the turf was laid on didn’t do well at all in the heatwaves and droughts of 2022. So, after reading an article last autumn about ‘bulbs for naturalising’, I thought this would be a great idea for this strip of dead lawn.

We proceeded to rake up the dead grass, water well and scatter fresh lawn seed, which took a good month to start showing signs of life. By late October, it was looking much better and I decided it was time to look into spring bulbs.

I researched the best bulbs for naturalising and got a mix of crocuses and daffodils. I read that by scattering/sporadically chucking the bulbs and planting them wherever they fell was the best way to create a natural look. Bearing in mind this strip of lawn faces a road in and out of our cul-de-sac and the pavement is a regular dog walking route, I must have looked pretty strange chucking bulbs around!

I then used my heavy-duty bulb planter definitely makes life easier but a trowel will do the job too!) to make 10” holes into the earth where the bulbs landed. In all honesty, I did slightly interfere with where some of the bulbs

had landed and placed a few where I felt there were gaps. I popped the bulbs in, growing shoot facing up, and then replaced the earth - with lawn attached - back on top, using my foot to firm the earth back in.

It took a good while as new-build soil is definitely tough to dig, even with the bulb planter, but, after much hard graft and sweating, I managed to make about 10 holes in the lawn! Finally, I watered them in well but, after that, they had to fend for themselves!

4 months later, the long wait was over and, by late February, I started seeing signs of the crocus’s and then came the daffodils! The hard work had paid off and the lawn was looking very pretty with the purples and yellows popping up through the grass. I also read that in order to feed the bulbs and help themspread, I was to leave the foliage to die back naturally. I’m told that next year my display will be even bigger as they begin to spread and my hope is that they’ll cover the whole lawn with a beautiful display in Springs to come.

7 Cara Addison @gardening.with.cara


once described in the local paper as a Hidden gem .

In the summer of 2019 I entered toms garden into the local Falkirk council garden competition, where he won best garden and overall winner , the local journalist who came to take photos was the one who described it as Bonnybridge Hidden Gem.

When you approach the house, a semi detached 1950 style house in a council estate, you know you have arrived, immediately your meet with a sea of colour and the sound of bees and insects.

Looking over the 3ft wall You discover a traditional front garden, lawn surrounded with a 2ft side border, but look carefully at the selection of plants, Agtache,stachys, asters, sedums all to invite you and the insects in.

Dragging yourself away and Walking up the drive you arrive at the rear of the house. Your not ready for what’ you see, a few raised beds,pots and containers over 200 different sizes, planted with Camelias, Rhododendrons, magnolias, roses, ferns, hostas, and herbaceous perennials by the hundreds all different.

built into the front of the old garage, just about the start of COVID Tom had planned in removing the 60 year old garage and replacing it with a smaller shed and patio, but we were all put in lock down, no option but put on hold.

Not Tom , he decided with my help to cut 6ft if the garage, so supporting the roof we removed 6ft either side, Stop don’t take the roof away, suddenly he had a roofed seating area, so rebuilt front supports, wired some lights ( yes I have a certificate) painted and now fit for another 50 years, seating area and she’d.

Taking a few minutes to look around, taking in the colour, scent, and most of all the sound of bees, birds and butterflies.

The sound of water gently heard in the background from another resent upcyling project, the water feature had suffered badly last winter, with chips and cracks, so off to local car repair shop, epoxy resin and sandpaper, a few days work filling and sanding , then a repaint with suitable plastic paint and now looks as good as new.

Toms getting into this repair and upcyling now.

Welcome to Tom Williamson (67) garden in Bonnybridge Central Scotland.

You think you seen it all but look to the side of the old garage is that a path, must lead somewhere.....

Following the path passing more pots and containers and a mass of clematis which then our all to be grown from seed, with one clematis Carl klein, growing through them.

As you approach the end of the garage the garden opens into what can only be described as Chaotic cottage style.

A few mature trees help create sun and shade, more seating and a small summer house and the rest of herbaceous plants, peonies,hostas,asters, phloxes, Shasta daisies it turns out there are over 500 different plants

This area is planted borders with a narrow path flowing diagonally across the garden leading to

Toms has rescue rabbits who provide a amble supply of waste, which is a great compost activator, with compost produced from the bins within a few months, Tom loves his wildlife. Over the last two years Tom with my help has identified over 15 different hoverflies, 9 different bees,bumblebees, numerous moths,

I don’t think I have ever visited and nothing flowering even mid winter.

Over the years Tom has built up a collection of spring bulbs, daffodils, snowdrops, and tulips opening this year in the spring which was a great success.

Tom is retired now and the garden is done on a tight budget, were lucky to have quite a few nurseries and prices for plants are great, and if course clearance corner helps expand the collection.

Tom has also got to thank members who visit and bring along cuttings and of course he shares a few too. But using suitable hardy plants, plenty of home made organic material the soil is now quite fertile.

occasional deer and foxes that visit all captured on a wildlife camera. Bird feeding stations and best boxes used by the many birds that

Tom opens the garden to raise money for two charities because Tom has glaucoma and problems with his sight one charity is the local Forth valley adult sensory centre, and the other is The Scottish wildlife rescue centre.

Now you would think the gardens full of native wildflowers , but no it’s mostly non native plants but all are grown to attract and feed wildlife and it works, yes there are a few sneaked in to the borders, but Tom is extremely lucky the garden backs into the river Bonnie, and nature reserve so instead of borrowing the view as

The garden has taken over 12 years to develop, on a gravely soil, and in a windswept location.

Building up a collection of Astilbes, Phlox, agatache, Nepetas, Asters, hellabour and many more, providing colour and nectar all year,

Last year raised £500 for each and on target to achieve the same if not more this year, we only reopened last year after like everyone shut for COVID. Previous to COVID he raised a few thousand over the years for other charities. The garden is not big back garden is about 15ft wide X 60ft, front triangular shaped corner plot.

During vivid he started a Facebook page a big adventure for Tom, offering advice and help to others new to gardening growing to over 4500 members not just Scotland or UK but worldwide from Europe, USA to Australia.

Proving that age and or disabilaty are no object to sharing your love of plants and wildlife.

Hope you enjoyed this brief visit.

Join Tom’s Hidden Garden Facebook page.


There are no mistakes in the garden

Sometimes gardening feels hard and difficult, like trying to learn a new language and consistently getting the basics wrong so that everything you say is a jumbled, confusing mess. I layer up my raised beds with organic material, I correctly scatter the seeds in neat little rows, I place down more slug defences than I can count and still, still my crops fail. Sometimes I blame the weather. Sometimes I blame the slugs. Sometimes I blame the soil. But most of the time, I blame myself.

It’s funny because, although I am often very quick to blame myself when crops fail, I don’t necessarily give myself the credit when things do grow. When a pumpkin plant does better than expected, or the purple sprouting broccoli gives me an abundance of harvests despite difficult weather conditions, I often say it was just luck. Or it was the plants themselves, nothing to do with me and my gardening skills.

It’s not until the Autumn time, when I actually sit down and reflect on the success of the allotment plot over the summer months, that I begin to realise how little credit I give myself. Maybe you’re the same? Blaming yourself for failures but never giving yourself credit for successes. It begs the question, just how much of our gardens success is actually down to us as gardeners and how much is just dumb luck?

I think we can all agree that plants know what they are doing better than we do. It’s so easy to think of a tiny seed as being this totally helpless thing, when in reality they actually hold a lot of power! But equally, without us humans there to offer a little helping hand every now and again, a lot of our crops wouldn’t survive or grow as well. Plants need us just as much as we need them. It’s a partnership.

So this Autumn, when you’re clearing away finished crops, gathering leaves for leaf mould and preparing beds for next Spring, I would urge you to take a moment to reflect on all your successes and failures in the garden. Reflect without placing blame or guilt on yourself, reflect without worrying about all the mistakes you might have made. Just take it in and sit with it.

The truth is, there are no mistakes in a garden, only lessons.

“I think we can all agree that plants know what they are doing better than we do.”


Autumn is the best time to clear your allotment after the summer season, and garlic is an ideal herb to have in the ground overwinter. Once you try your own garlic, you won’t want to go back due to the strong, spicy allium aroma that’s unbeatable when harvested fresh in May to July.

Supermarket garlic isn’t suitable for your soil, so please don’t plant it. It can carry pests and diseases such as white rot, which if introduced to your soils could be fatal for allium crops in the future for around 15 years. It may have also been treated with chemicals to prevent growth, and the end results will most probably be disappointing.

Planting time for autumn garlic is between October and November

Planting time for autumn garlic is between October and November, starting with good quality seed garlic from a reputable supplier. This ensures the best results and seed garlic cultivars that are suitable for growing in the UK climate. All garlic requires freedraining soil to prevent rotting in winter; adding sand and grit to heavy clay soils will help the soil drain and prevent the garlic from sitting in a cold, soggy bath.

The most difficult part is deciding whether to grow soft neck or hard neck, so what’s the difference between them?

Hard neck garlic produce a delicacy called scapes, which is the flowering spike. Snip these off so the plant’s energy goes into producing Big cloves, rather than flowering and producing seed. Hard neck garlic is often hardier and stronger in flavour too.

Soft neck garlic is good for drying, plaiting and storing due to it’s soft neck, but you don’t get the flowering spike which will mean no delicious scapes.

Seed garlic usually comes in bulbs, which you then split into the individual cloves. Each individual clove is then planted 3-4cm deep, 15cm apart. Water when the weather is dry and feed with sulphate of potash every six weeks from February until harvest, to maintain healthy growth.

So lift your spirits outside in your growing space by starting your next year’s growing season here with this easy and fun herb.



This edition we contacted Chloe, @myprettyplot, who has a beautiful garden as well as a 125 square metre allotment. We asked Chloe to gives an insight into her gardening life.



When I was little, say 6 or 7, my Mum gave me a little border in the garden to grow what I wanted. We’d choose some easy to grow seeds like pansies and cornflowers, then I’d enthusiastically sow them, water them and watch them grow and flower.

I can’t say the borders were ever particularly pretty or organised but they were mine to cherish and look after. I’m sure my Mum helped when I wasn’t there too. I was always fascinated by flowers and learning the names of plants, insects and harvesting berries from the vegetable beds.

When I was a teenager, I stopped gardening for a while but came back to it about seven years ago, craving green space and getting my hands in the soil again.

Now here I am looking after my garden as well as a 125 square metre allotment and growing food and flowers in abundance. Everything has a way of coming back to what you truly loved when you were little I think.

Each week I spend time pottering in the garden or at the plot. It’s so much easier to find time in the summer where I can pop to the allotment after work for an hour…. Or three or four until my husband asks if I can come home for dinner, oops!

I tend to spend half a day at least at the weekend at the allotment, sometimes more if I can spare the time but it’s not always possible.

Generally I just have a list of jobs to do in my phone and try to work through at least a few a week. It can be anything from weeding to wood chipping to planting out or building structures.


It’s so hard to pick a favourite plant, every time I answer this I pick something different.

I might have to go with three because they’re for such different reasons.

1. Brassicas, especially kale has to be up here, it might not seem the most exciting but with very little care they provide food for up

to a year from one plant! Such workhorses and as long as they’re netted they look after themselves. Also, kale shoots are delicious!

2. Squash, particularly winter squash. My favourite variety is Crown Prince which is the sweetest and tastiest, giving around 3 good sized squashes per plant. Again, once they’re going very easy and they provide excellent ground cover to reduce weed pressure on the allotment.

3. Tomatoes, the range of sizes, colours and flavours pulls me in every year. They need a bit of care to remove side shoots, keep them well watered, make sure air flow is good but the rewards are beyond worth it. In fact I’m such a snob with tomatoes from the supermarket now that even the fanciest ones won’t do. I’m using up the last of last year’s frozen tomatoes now just in time for this year’s crop to arrive. Perfect!


I absolutely love the mindfulness that gardening forces on you. Being able to empty your mind of all the competing thoughts of work and everyday life. I’m someone whose mind runs a hundred miles a minute and who can struggle to switch off but gardening really helps with that. I set myself a timer and a task (usually weeding because there’s always weeds) and put my phone away to focus on what I can see right in front of me.

Nothing compares to that sense of calm.


My area has very heavy clay soil which I take into account when buying any plants. The next most important thing I’ll consider is light, there’s no point planting hydrangea or astrantia in full sun, they’ll struggle and look burnt and pitiful.

June is the perfect time to assess light level, 6 hours or more being full sun, 4-6 being partial sun and any less classed as full shade.

My front garden is full shade and planted with ferns, hostas, astilbes and hydrangeas which thrive.

The back garden is full sun where the borders are so it’s full of roses, clematis, sweet peas, hollyhocks. It’s very cottage garden style in pinks, purples, whites and even some yellow for contrast.

If I find there are gaps to fill or a period with not much flowering, I tend to see what’s in the garden centre or local nursery for ideas. Even better, visit a lovely local garden with a tea room! I’m not one to rush into buying plants so I’ll often then grow from seed for next summer or buy a bare root to save some money. The plants often end up healthier and bigger than buying one.


Keep things simple, if you want to grow fruit and veg choose two or three that you like and just grow them to start with. For allotment growing plant as you go doing a bed at a time. You’ll find that way you’re motivated to keep working at the hard bits because something will be growing for you at the same time.

If you’re a fan of flowers and want to grow them for bouquets, a good rule of thumb to work towards is to have one variety of a lacy flower like Ammi Majus, a filler like cosmos and a spire like snapdragons or apple mint. Pair these with a showstopper like a dahlia, rose or peony and you’ll be set!

Vegetables to plant in Autumn


Planting asparagus requires preparing a well-draining, sunny bed and digging trenches around 6-8 inches deep.

Broad Beans

To plant broad beans, choose a location with full sun to partial shade and well-draining soil.


1 2 3

Break apart the garlic bulb into individual cloves and plant them about 2 inches deep and 6 inches apart in well-prepared soil with good drainage.




Plant onion sets or seedlings about 1 inch deep and 4-6 inches apart in rows with 12-18 inches of spacing.


Ample sunlight and welldraining soil. Seeds about 1-2 inches deep and 2 inches apart in rows with 18-24 inches between rows.


Separate the shallot bulbs into individual cloves and plant them about 1 inch deep and 6-8 inches apart in rows spaced around 12 inches apart.

Spring onions

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Sunny to partially shaded area with well-draining soil 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep


Well-draining location with partial to full sun. Sow seeds about 1/2 inch deep and 2 inches apart.



The culture of ‘putting your garden to bed’ has long passed us by (I hope), certainly for me the thought of not gardening again until the spring is truly a frightening concept. Since I started gardening the plan has always been to garden, whatever the weather or season. Gardening doesn’t have to be sowing, growing and harvesting, although there is plenty of that going on too! I consider gardening to be; taking care of wildlife, enjoying the flurry of migrant birds into your garden, cleaning tools, making compost, mulching beds, even a touch of hard landscaping.

Now is such a wonderfully slow relaxed time to take stock of the successes and failures from the previous growing season. A perfect time to really take a look at the structure of your space. I’m a planner and I do love to start putting down on paper my thoughts and aspirations and how the garden can be productive right up until spring. So I begin sowing for autumn in August. So I will sow either under cover or direct, winter lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, radish, spinach, carrots and potatoes (just in time for a Christmas harvest!). This autumn I’m also going to try winter peas.

It’s so important for soil health that the ground isn’t left bare over the winter, it is far better to grow crops that will improve soil structure and health, reduce erosion and increase fertility. So even if you don’t have the resources to sow and grow food crops through autumn, simply sowing a ground cover plant can be tremendously beneficial to the soil and may even help boost your growing season in the spring. Ground cover plants include vetch, mustard and my favorite phacelia (also a good food source for pollinators).



As a passionate flower lover and cut flower gardener, it is Autumn seed sowing which I relish the most, especially sharing, sowing, growing and giving to others to bring them joy. My obsession with flowers began as a child through my Mum. From an early age, I soon came to appreciate the beauty of flowers. Mum and I shared the same love and over the years enjoyed creating designs together for flower festivals, competitions, events and wedding flowers for our family and friends (including my own!).

Unexpectedly, I lost my beautiful mum last year to bowel Cancer. Following Mum’s passing I sent out a mix of her favourite Cosmos seeds to keep her memory and her love of flowers alive. These seeds have been sown by hundreds of people across the UK and Europe, all growing #patscosmos in their gardens, whilst donating to Macmillan Cancer Support. Mum’s cosmos seeds will be available again next February 2024.

Macmillan are an amazing charity. I have been a Macmillan Volunteer for over 14 years following my own diagnosis with a rare form of cancer in 2006. Next month marks the 33 rd annual MacmillanCoffee Morning. This year I have curated an ‘Afternoon Tea’ themed seed pack. It contains seven varieties of seeds which can be sown this Autumn, two of which are perennials. Anyone can request a pack, (although numbers are limited) for a minimum £1 donation to Macmillan.

‘All the flowers of all the tomorrows are in the seeds of today’ Indian Proverb I’d love you to join me on the 29th September by sharing a photo of a cup of tea/coffee and cake along with some

Let’s make a difference as a community!

Hope to see you over on my page soon and thank you!

flowers from your garden using the hashtag #teaandbloomsformacmillan. There will also be a gardening giveaway and ‘a live’ with Sophie @lookinsidemygarden for a cup of tea, cake, chat and a gardening themed quiz!
Autumn time always brings excitement and anticipation for gardeners as we look forward with hope and optimism to the growing year ahead.

15 Jobs for autumn in the garden

Lawns and leaves

Clearing your lawn of any fallen leaves. These can form a layer over your grass that will block water, air flow and nutrients from getting down to the roots.

Dividing Perennials

Increase the number of plants you have by dividing them

Sowing a new lawn

Lawn seed and grass seed mixtures can be sown between March and October.

Plant spring bulbs

Create a beautiful display planted in containers or borders of daffodils, snowdrops and tulips.


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2 5

Weeding is a job that needs to be done all year round. Be vigilant and continue to deweed regulary.

Pruning in Autumn

There’s nothing like a good tidy up. Autumn is the perfect time to remove old growth and get plants into shape.


Trim the hedges

Late autumn is the best time to trim your hedge. Most plants are either dormant, or towards the end of their flowering season.

Cut back geraniums

Taking cuttings now will give you flowering geraniums next year.

Reduce watering the indoor plants

The cooler temperatures mean less watering is required. Too much water is more damaging to these than too little.

Plant garlic

Planting time for autumn garlic is between October and November.

Check out page 12

Invest in a water butt

Prepare your garden for the spring by installing a rain water tank (water butt) to capture the winter rain.

Get mulching

Autumn is a good time to layer your beds and borders with mulch to lock in warmth and nutrients. This will also reduce hardy weeds.

Create habitats for wildlife

The winter months can be challenging for wildlife, so create some practical (and attractive) habitats.

Gather seeds

Collect them on a dry day and keep them dry until you’re ready to sow them. Many you can sow straight away to give you a headstart for next years plants

Sow winter veg

It’s time to sow radishes, broad beans, rocket and lettuce ready for a winter crop.

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1. Pre-heat your oven to 200°C

2. Cut the butternut squash in half length ways. This can be tricky - it’s best to start from the middle and cut to one end then turn it around and cut from the middle again, to the other end.

3. Spoon out as much of the seeds and stringy bits as possible. You might not get them all out, that’s OK. Drizzle with olive oil and season.

4. Place butternut squash on a baking tray – seasoned side down (flat side). It’s best to line your baking tray with foil.

Cook for approximately 1 hour or until you can easily push a knife through. Turn them over and allow to cool.

5. Chop onion and carrots and prepare the vegetable stock.

6. Spoon out the meat of the butternut squash into a bowl.

7. Add the butternut squash and nutmeg then combine.

8. Add Vegetable stock and mix everything together.

9. Simmer until the carrots soften.

10. To make it a real bisque, pour in the cream and stir.

11. Now it’s time to blend it all together. Either with a hand blender or a traditional blender. Blend until smooth.

12. Choose your favourite bowl, pour and enojy!


1 Butternut squash

1 Onion

2 Carrots

700ml Vegetable stock

1 tsp Nutmeg

Seasoning (to taste)

Capability Brown

Our window to the Georgian period is seen through the likes of Gainsborough, Constable and Turner who give us an insight to English countryside and landscapes.

In 1716 a man named Lancelot Brown was born in Kirkharle, Northumberland. Lancelot was a keen gardener and got most of his inspiration from the Kirkharle estate where his mother worked in service there.

He got his first job there tending the grounds at the age of sixteen and left when he was aged twenty three. During his years at Kirkharle he became head gardener and with his experience and knowledge from others he left and took on other positions in Lincolnshire and Oxfordshire where his first project was to be the grounds and surroundings of Kiddington Hall.

His confidence and reputation grew along with his passion which led him to stately homes across the country. At the time most wealthy

Georgians were very enthusiastic about their gardens and they were very particular about the style. Most stately homes at the time had the common greenery and grounds which included mathematical patterns and symmetrical features. These were fashionable Elizabethan features which had stayed fashionable for some time. However, Lancelot’s style was completely different. Many people criticized his work but many loved how more natural to the surroundings his style was. He planted plenty of cedar trees and oak trees creating woodland areas and used stately homes and parish buildings as a focal point surrounded with woodland and greenery. He created lakes and large ponds by draining water from different parts of pasture land which became one of his popular features and this can be seen in many places today like Holkham Hall in Norfolk. His clients were absolutely thrilled with what they saw and a common phrase he would use to his clients


was “there is always room for Capability and Improvement.” The phrase gained him the nickname “Capability Brown”. Most of his clients were very wealthy people who owned large acres of land and it was through these clients that his reputation grew. However, it was when King George III appointed him as his master gardener to manage and take care of Hampton Court gardens he became one of the top landscape architects at the time.

In his lifetime he took care of around two hundred and fifty estates all over the country. He met his wife Bridget Wayet and they had eight children together and they lived a comfortable lifestyle.

Lancelot purchased the manor of Fenstanton in Huntingdonshire. This house came with two manor houses, two villages and 2,668 acres of land. A man who worked to the very end when in February 1783 he came from London to stay with his eldest daughter Briget and her husband Henry Holland when Lancelot got out of his horse and carriage he suffered a major heart attack and fell to the ground. A few minutes after being taken inside he died inside his daughters home. A monument is dedicated to Lancelot and his wife in the local church to where he lived.

So the next time you visit a stately home around the country such as Audley End, Blenheim Palace, Kew Gardens, Sherborne Castle, Langley Park, Highclere Castle where Downton Abbey is set,and many more stately homes the chances are Capability Brown was the landscape architect behind the tall trees, large lakes and large open landscapes which give us the beautiful views we see today.

Skinny Jean Gardener @skinnyjeangardener Good Roots Barn @goodrootsbarn Jan O’Brien @theflowermummysgarden Cheryl Elizabeth Davis FamilyPast.co.uk David Gallacher @ davidgallacher62 Interested in becoming a contributor? email: content@whattogrow.co.uk Emma Bailey @emmasallotmentdiaries Kelly-Jane @dirtygardenhoeuk Chloe Weir @MyPrettyPlot Cara Addison @gardening.with.cara
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