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Week in erddig.

Byline: with Glyn Smith

NOW that Erddig Hall has closed for the winter recess we can start the autumn tidy up. Leaves that have blown into the borders can be collected and composted and many of our herbaceous plants that have already died down can be cut down to the ground and cleared away.

Some plants and grasses that have beautiful seed heads will be left to add interest in the winter garden and attract garden birds.

The leaves of our Agapanthus have turned a bright yellow and are quite attractive but as they die down they will turn to a slimy mess, so we will have to watch for just the right moment to clear them away.

Some plants are still doing well. The autumn flowering bulbs nerine bowdenii are putting on a brave display with their deep pink lily type flowers, and some of the last fiery coloured chrysanthemums and ageing purple flowers of sedum spectabile add to the autumn leaf colours of shrubs and trees around the garden.

One of the most valuable and rarely seen autumn flowering border plants that we have is the liriope muscari.

This is a member of the lily family that only grows a foot tall. It has grass-like foliage from which emerge spikes of tiny,closely packed,bright mauve flower buds. The buds never actually seem to open properly but they last for several weeks.

The sunflower display we planted earlier this year still has an odd flower or two brightening the short days but most of the heads have finished and set seed. We will leave these for a while yet before pulling them up as the sunflower seeds are attracting blue tits to feed on them.

In the Victorian Garden the beds of patio roses are flowering again and giving quite a good display.

Soon we will take the opportunity to prune the purple clematis jackmannii and rose dorothy perk ins that are trained on rustic poles.

I know what you are thinking: the roses should have been pruned well before now and the clematis ought to be pruned in the spring.

Well we have to break the gardening rules here a bit as we have to choose a time between the two seasons, when the clematis has finished flowering and is dying down, top rune it back so that we can train and tie in the roses.

Glyn Smith is National Trust head gardener at Erddig Hall,Wrexham
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Nov 8, 2003
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