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The Winter Garden displays a diverse range of plants to dramatic visual and sensory effect.
The Winter Garden displays a diverse range of plants to dramatic visual and sensory effect.
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Trainee Blogpost: variety is the spice of life!

Trainee Robyn Young blogs about working on the Trees & Shrubs section with Mark Crouch, Section Supervisor
Trimmed back hardy Geraniums Trimmed back hardy Geraniums
July 2017

This month on the Trees & Shrubs section it’s been maintenance maintenance maintenance, with large areas to be dealt with. One of the main tasks was improving the appearance of the Rose Garden. We focused on cutting back the beautiful Nepeta racemosa ‘Walker’s Low’ (a favourite amongst visitors!) to the new growth, hoping for a second flush of flower later in the season. The same approach was also taken with the hardy geraniums growing alongside the various lavender varieties, and this helped the beds look much neater. We were assisted in this task by a work experience student from a local secondary school, and she did a sterling job of the weeding and cutting back necessary.

Following this we tackled the species Rose Beds which had been taken over by weeds thanks to the warm weather and rainy spells! After a lot of hoeing, raking up debris and edging with edging shears we made a big difference to how they looked. Then, general weeding, deadheading and mowing was the order of the day to put the finishing touches to this much visited part of the Garden. Unfortunately, muntjac deer have spoilt the appearance of some of the herbaceous planting beneath the roses. Dealing with the Garden boundaries to remove potential cover for them to hide in will be the job of this section in the winter months.

Another significant task this month has been strimming – I really enjoyed the chance to use some new machinery. I had to get to grips with adapting my technique to deal with trickier areas, as well as re-fitting the cord once it had run out – fiddly but an essential skill! It’s important to be fully protected whilst strimming as anything that flies off can hit you at speed, so that meant very flattering safety wear for several hours…

Second time round on this section I feel my confidence has come on in leaps and bounds, and the head of section Mark Crouch is keen to let trainees get on and work independently. This has helped me plan my work and prioritise tasks, according to the weather or time involved which has been a useful skill to develop. The work is strenuous but varied at this time of year, so during the summer months you’ll get fit and never be bored – what more could you ask for?

Robyn Young - Trees & Shrubs
Horticultural Trainee


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Publication Date
31/07/2017