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Summer gives way to Autumn in Highdowns sensory garden.

Highdown Gardens - LisaHello my name’s Lisa and I’ve been a Craft Gardener at Highdown Garden for just over two months now. The Sensory Garden is one of my areas of responsibilities and I’ve seen the plants change a lot while I’ve been here.

I started at the beginning of August when lots of plants were still looking wonderful, the bright orange Californian Poppies and Calendula were very eye catching and the white Lychnis and the powdery blue Nigella filled the raised beds with colour. The plants were still enjoying the sunshine in August so the Calendula and the sweetpeas had to be deadheaded regularly.

But as the summer started to come to an end, mid to late August, lots of flowers faded and it was time to cut some perennials down to the ground, this encourages new and fresh foliage and flowers. The Nepeta, Geraniums, Stachys byzantina and Alchemilla mollis were all cut down to the ground when their flowers faded, with the warm and sunny September we’ve experienced they’ve all bounced back with young new foliage.

In September annuals such as the Poppies and Calendula finished their show of flowers and had to be removed to tidy up the beds, but other perennials were having their time to look wonderful. Salvia ‘Royal Bumble’ and Salvia ‘Nachtvlinder’ with their numerous and floating dark red and purple flowers and Symphyotrichum (Asters) with their mass of dense purple flowers are now still grabbing people’s attention.

Now we’re in autumn this is a good time to identify gaps in the Sensory Garden, some plants have been eaten by slugs and rabbits so some beds are looking less full than they should be. Autumn is a good time to plant, with moisture and warmth still in the ground, so new plants will soon be planted to fill these gaps. Come and have a look at the Salvia, Asters, Verbena bonariensis and the new plants in the Sensory Garden this Autumn, it’ll be good to meet you!

Sensory garden - late summer 2021 - path and flowers

Sensory garden - late summer 2021 - flowers, benches and pergola

Sensory garden - late summer 2021 - raised planters and benches

Sensory garden - late summer 2021 - raised planters, flowers and pergola