Autumn Garden created in Hopping Mill Meadow

The Spring Garden in Hopping Mill Meadow was created by Blooming Milford in March 2020. It features plants, shrubs and bulbs that are at their best early in the year (February – April) with the idea of brightening up a gloomy part of the year.

Spring Garden early March 2022

It has proved to be very successful with the residents and so Blooming Milford decided to create another garden to compliment it, the Autumn Garden, which features plants, shrubs and bulbs that are at their best later in the year (September – November).

A site was located, close to the weir and by the old winch mechanism, 400yds further north along the riverside meadow in Hopping Mill Meadow. This was very overgrown, but contractors QTS did an excellent job cutting it back in June (see article here about QTS) as can be seen in the pictures below.

Proposed Autumn Garden site before QTS contractors

QTS contactors clearing proposed Autumn Garden site June 2022

Proposed Autumn Garden site cleared by QTS, June 2022

In September Blooming Milford successfully applied for £450 from local Derbyshire County Councillor Gez Kinsella’s Members’ Community Leadership Scheme fund, allowing us to buy really good quality plants that will last (as we did for the Spring Garden.) So Blooming Milford dug the area cleared by QTS over, removed the grass and weeds, and rotovated it, over 3 days.

Digging starting on Autumn Garden

Digging half complete

Rotovation complete

The following plants were then bought from Hudson’s in Duffield: a large purple-red leaved acer, a large red-orange leaved acer, a purple leaved escallonia, a mallus/crab apple with bright orange fruit (“butterball”), 3 heleniums, 2 geranium Rozanne, 2 coreopsis, 2 dark purple asters, 2 rudbeckias, 3 salvia “hot lips”, 2 purple flowered perennial salvias, one bright yellow leaved erica, 3 short height pink Japanese anemones, 2 medium height pink Japanese anemones and 3 cream coloured echinacea. In addition, Blooming Milford bought a dozen wild autumn flowering cyclamen and 36 autumn crocuses from their own funds. All these were then planted, and as you can imagine, gave a very colourful display, as shown below. All of these plants are perennial so will come up year after year and will grow and spread.

Perennials being planted

Perennials in place

Finally Mark Hudson of Quarry Wood Cottage in Milford kindly donated several tonnes of chipped willow and the garden was mulched to supress weeds and retain moisture. It was officially “opened” by Gez Kinsella on 24th October 2022.

Mulch in place – Autumn Garden complete.



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