If your garden is looking messy at this time of year, don’t worry. The garden at Lewis Cottage is also a bit of a mess and Richard Orton confesses he likes it that way. In his latest update Richard describes his own regime for tidying and pruning in winter and urges us to make up our own rules.
At this time of year, as the days shorten and time spent out in the garden becomes increasingly precious, Richard Orton likes to pause and reflect on the gardening year at Lewis Cottage. His beautiful garden is regularly open to the public during the summer months, but in this exceptional year he has decided to open it during the winter as well, to enable those who are feeling isolated to enjoy the benefits of being outdoors with like minded people.
While many of us are wondering what to do with the apples in our gardens, at Lewis Cottage they are dealing with a bumper crop of some more unusual fruits - mulberries, figs, quinces and medlars. In the second of his blogs one of the creators of this special Mid Devon garden, Richard Orton, shares some ideas on how to use these fruits, a recipe for mulberry jelly and some tips on growing figs. He also shares his list of garden jobs for the autumn.
Lewis Cottage is a hidden gem of a garden buried in glorious countryside, between the Mid Devon villages of Colerooke and Spreyton. Twenty years ago Richard Orton and his friends Michael and Penny Pell took over an overgrown one acre woodland garden and, inspired by the styles of Beth Chatto and Gertrude Jekyll, they have expanded it into beautiful informal gardens combining relaxed planting schemes and formal borders with woodland areas dedicated to attracting wildlife. The gardens are open every year to visitors under the National Garden Scheme. In the first of his blogs, Richard reports on the unexpected success of their tropical border.
Richard and his two friends Michael and Penny Pell have opened their garden at Lewis Cottage for the National Garden Scheme over the past ten years and run a small online plant nursery there. Moving to Devon in 1992 from Hampshire, Richard divides his time between London and Devon and contributes a monthly gardening column to the Moorlander newspaper.