Our long and lovely summer now feels like a distant memory as leaves start to fall along with the temperatures.

As a tourist attraction we are now drawing to a close until spring 2014 but the work within our gardens and grounds doesn’t stop. It is an ideal time to plan and make the changes we feel will really improve us next year.

Our wild flower meadow is so important to our woodland and helps attract and protect a lot of different wildlife, it was therefore a delicate process to make sure we stripped it back in the friendliest way possible after the meadow became overrun with grass. We chose a mix of yellow rattle, fleabane, oxeye daisy and knapweed amongst others. By spring next year it should have a new lease of life and become home to a wide range of butterflies, bees and grasshoppers. We can’t wait to see the results.

The Court Yard and Elizabethan Garden lawns are getting a good scarify, the yew trees are being shaped and the garden team are already organising the spring bedding to be used. Fiona has introduced a camomile lawn to the Shakespeare Garden so when this is more established we will take some pictures and update our website, facebook and twitter.

There are two new members to welcome to the team. Tom is now a full time member of staff and George has joined the team on a part time basis. The extra investment in staff will improve the customer experience for visitors to the Gardens & Grounds of Herstmonceux Castle.

Winter will see our Visitor Centre fully updated with new panels and information, making it easier to digest the castles history and changes over the years.

We would like to say a huge thank you to those who purchased plants throughout 2013 and contributed to our honesty box, we raised £1409 over the course of the season and will update you on what that money has been used for in our winter blog.

Thank you again to all who visited in 2013 and we look forward to providing a winter update in due course.

The Gardens & Grounds Team at Herstmonceux Castle.