With thanks to Jacqueline Curtis for the words and Christian Doyle for the pictures.
I am ashamed to say that despite living in Arundel for over 3 years, I had not yet toured the Castle gardens. Martin Duncan collected about 20 of us at the Castle gates and walked through the grounds. On the way up the hill Martin pointed out trees including a large Cork Oak and told of his plans to plant areas of wild flowers. However I was unprepared for the magnificence of the Earl Collector’s Garden. Even in late October it was still lush and colourful with wonderful architectural plants and beautiful green oak columns, obelisks and a pergola. I lusted after the huge Italian terracotta pots lined up waiting to be planted with tulips. Altogether with the pots and the gardens Martin has 12,000 tulips to plant. A new addition to the garden is a “stumpery”. The sculptural forms of the tree stumps form the basis for a wonderful planting consisting of ferns and euphorbia – some of my favourite plants.
The kitchen garden is managed by Isobel McKinley and certainly the Duke and Duchess won’t be short of vegetables this winter. It is a lovely mixture of fruit, vegetables and flowers grown organically with a pergola covered with apple trees. The weather was cold and drizzly and I wasn’t the only person pleased to be able to warm up in the glasshouses. Isobel and her team grow a wide range of plants including a pomegranate and a guava tree – and I thought guavas only came in tins!
Next year I will definitely be back to see the tulips in the Spring, the wild flowers in the summer and I might even offer to go and help plant some of those tulips!