After visiting Hardwick Hall last week I realised I hadn't been another National Trust garden for some time. Just like at Hardwick I knew there would be some wonderful dahlias on display at Clumber at the moment.
I thought the annual Apple Day was actually next week but I was delighted to find it on when we arrived.
As always on Apple Day they had the usual games and activities. Anyone with a bit of a competitive streak could try their luck at the Bowl-a-Rama. You could also have a go at cutting the longest apple peel. Many attempts at this were thwarted by the nobbly nature of the apples.
Of course apples are meant to be be used for eating and drinking. The tasting tables were looking a little sparse due to the number of visitors they had had over the weekend. The kids did enjoy helping to crush the apples before they were put through the juicer.
Around the garden there are over 70 different varieties of apple. A number of the trees are rare and unusual local varieties from Nottinghamshire and the neighbouring counties of Derbyshire, Lincolnshire and Yorkshire. Some are traditional trees in orchard settings whilst others make use of the many walls in cordon formation. Behind the long flower borders are also rows of espalier apples still heavy with their crop.
In the Long Glasshouse there was a number of other displays with one of them being some local beekeepers. We were able to taste some of the honey while the producers of it were busy working away.
With it being October the preparations for the Halloween trail are in full swing. Selections of squashes, gourds and of course pumpkins fill whole areas in the vegetable garden. The bright orange ones stand out but there were also green and a ghostly white varieties.
It wasn't just the fruit and vegetables I was on the hunt for. The flower border at Clumber is well-known with a great deal effort put in to get the colours just right. It starts with bright reds and then mellows to yellows in the first section. It goes through the colour palette before ending with whites.
Along the edge of the Glasshouse the planting is less structured with colours, textures and structures being given a free reign. Of course I focused on the dahlias again.
Down in the cutting garden the blooms are looking very impressive. I also like the small terracotta pots used as cane protectors. Certainly beats the old squash bottles we use at the allotment!
Just to prove there are other flowers apart from dahlias about the geraniums were being shown off on this pretty shelving display. I hope they survive the coming months.