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Sally Nex Sally Nex | 09:00 UK time, Saturday, 13 November 2010

Lyveden New Bield turf labyrinth (c) NT/Mark Bradshaw


In the news....
Just imagine waking up to discover a whole Tudor garden you didn't even know you had outside your door.

That's what's happened this week to Lyveden New Bield, near Oundle in Northamptonshire, already one of the oldest surviving gardens in the country. Researching the garden's history from archives held in America, the National Trust's Chris Gallagher found a photo taken from a Luftwaffe plane during the Second World War: clearly outlined were the ten concentric circles of what looks like a Tudor labyrinth some 120 metres across. Archaeological work begins next year.

If you're out in the garden this week don't forget to look up at the sky each evening: one of the autumn's most spectacular sights is wheeling through about now. The reason behind the annual display of starling aerobatics – also known as murmurations, though 'deafenations' might be more appropriate – is a mystery that defies explanation.

The RSPB predicts a spectacular show again this year, despite falls in the starling population of almost 70%. Find out more on Autumnwatch this Thursday on BBC Two at 8.30pm.

Elsewhere on the web...
The bulbs have been going in by the thousands this week; actually, make that tens of thousands at RHS Garden Rosemoor in Devon, where Sheila Dearing has just put in an order for 33,900 of the things.  Stephanie Donaldson – aka The Enduring Gardener -  has run out of pots to put hers in while garden designer Mary Newstead has a table groaning with unplanted bulbs as she has six gardens to fill: she's chosen some sumptuous alliums and tulips to do it with, though.

And you'll see an old favourite in a whole new light after this post from the Transatlantic Plantsman – aka the always-knowledgeable Graham Rice. I'll bet you've got a Choisya ternata 'Sundance' somewhere in your garden – but I bet you haven't clipped it into a rectangular box. Or rather, I hope you haven't.

Out and about...
The rain is lashing, frost is setting in and everything's stopped growing – but who says you have to stop gardening? Just take cover in the greenhouse and carry on. At Greenbank Gardens in Clarkston, near Glasgow, they're doing just that, and the gardening team are holding a masterclass this afternoon (13 November) on keeping your greenhouse productive right through winter.

You can still go garden visiting, too: one of our best-loved gardens is taking on a very different look this week as Hidcote Manor, in Gloucestershire, holds the first of six evening openings this Friday (19th November), complete with floodlights to show off trees, plants and architecture in a whole new light.

If you really can't face going outside, there's a rare chance to hear an inspirational talk from legendary garden designer Arabella Lennox-Boyd at the Garden Museum in London on Wednesday evening (17th November). At least then you can start planning the garden for next year.

Sally Nex is a garden writer and blogger and part of the BBC Gardening team.


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