O, it’s oysters, oysters, oysters,” quo’ she,
“If you wanl any oysters, buy them a’ frae me,
It’s four for a penny, but five I’ll gie to thee,
If you deal in my basket o’ Oysters. 


By Gordon the Gardener

The summer (what there was of it) brought me on a grand tour of gardens. I travelled from God’s own country of Yorkshire to Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire.

Temple Newsome, Leeds, was my first choice to see the Delphiniums and what a treat it was. King Charles’ favourite grown to perfection. They like a humus-rich soil, preferably slightly alkaline.

As I have said previously soil quality plays a major role in success or failure. Get the land right and you’re on the road to successful growing. Well-rotted manure applied in autumn helps supplement these heavy feeders.

The next stop was at Harewood House. The parterre gardens were recreated in 1994 and the terrace is one of the most beautiful Victorian formal gardens in England.

They are created by box hedging, surrounded with gravel. Planted within are lavender, a simple idea and very effective.

Other delights include a magnificent old fashioned herbaceous border. If visiting and travelling by bus, as I was, then your admission ticket is reduced to half price so I only had to pay £9 – a bargain!

The No36 bus from Leeds Bus Station is a regular service which drops off at Harewood. There is then a shuttle up to the hall. So, what are you waiting for?

Next it was on to the Buckinghamshire home of the Rothschild family – Waddesdon Manor (above).

My childhood memories of the name, are of my mother’s reaction to my asking: ‘Can I have..?’ to which she replied: “Who do you think we are, the Rothschilds?” And so it proved to be when the manor shop had bottles of wine or whiskey…at £5,000!

The gardens were just as classy with extensive displays and bird aviary.

I also stopped at Wrest Park another gem in Bedfordshire, but more of that another time. 

Keep up the liquid feeding of your hanging baskets and window boxes and continue to dead head to prolong flowering.

It is time to be thinking of the Spring to come, what bulbs should we plant? The Great Autumn Flower Show in Harrogate is an ideal spot to find them.

The UK’s premier autumn gardening event takes place in the grounds of Newby Hall between September 15 and 17. It is a must for every gardener.

READ MORE: Gordon the Gardener writes every month for Huddersfield Hub – catch up HERE