Update from the Gardens
by Steve the Gardener
Spring is certainly on its way now with the Daffodils in full cry but I am sure that winter has not quite finished with us yet! We have had a relatively mild and dry winter so far so I am optimistic that most of the Dahlias have survived in the ground again. We have lost some scented-leaf Geraniums but I took cuttings last year so they can be replaced. Storm Doris did some damage in the wood and a large Beech tree had to be felled as it was leaning over a path. The storm also blew a door off a greenhouse but it could have been worse.
This year I have decided to make a start on restoring the overgrown garden opposite the cottages with the help of Jim and Lee (from Greenleaf, who come every Tuesday). They have worked hard on the area. Together, we have cleared all the old wood, removed a ruined aviary, dismantled a derelict greenhouse and taken out some spindly trees. It now needs some new paths and seating areas before I can properly plan and plant the beds. I wold like to make it butterfly and bee friendly and a pleasant place to sit. I have already put up several nest boxes for the birds.
The Herbaceous Border below the car park has also had a lot of attention this last month. It was quite overgrown and Sister Anne is keen to restore this area as well. Lee, Jim and I have pruned back the overgrown shrubs and dug the whole bed over between us so the next stage will be to start replanting as soon as we can. Again, we will use wildlife friendly shrubs and plants wherever we can.
The lawns have had their first cut of the year but the Badgers have made a real mess of some areas this winter in their search for worms. Hopefully, it will all repair itself before too long and the Badgers will find other sources of food. The Bluebells in the top wood are growing strongly but it will be at least a month before they flower I think.
The next big task on the horizon is to prepare the beds in the Flower (Cutting) Garden, ready for the sowing and panting out. I have already planted Sweet Pea plants in the polytunnel for early flowers. These were sown last October and are nice healthy plants by now. I will update on the progress in the gardens in another couple of months. Happy gardening!