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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: November Planning and Propagation

Will (far right) with fellow trainees Barbara and Bryony Will (far right) with fellow trainees Barbara and Bryony
This month, trainee Barbara Griffiths blogs about her month working on the Demonstration & Display section (affectionately known in the Garden as `D&D'), alongside Peter Kerley, Section Supervisor and his Assistant David Austrin.

November 2016

This month on the Demonstration & Display section (known simply as ‘D&D'), I’ve been spending time really brushing up on my plant knowledge (handy for all those plant identification tests!).

This section is responsible for many of the more ornamental areas of the garden, and includes container displays around the fountain and Glasshouse bays, as well as the herbaceous borders around Cory Lodge, the Winter and Dry Gardens, Scented Garden and the two main entrances to the Garden. I’ve been working alongside Peter Kerley, the section supervisor and his assistant David Austrin, both of whom have enviable knowledge of all the different planting combinations that can be used for ornamental displays.

Work on the section is really varied, and includes general care and maintenance of the herbaceous material (including cutting back, re-planting, irrigation and weeding etc), as well as having the opportunity to get involved in propagation of key plants, ready for the new season. Timing is crucial on this section, and I’ve found it so interesting learning about how the team have to keep in mind what plants to order or propagate, potting them up and growing them on until the appropriate time to refresh the ornamental areas.

It’s become clear to me how important it is to really know your plants when planning a herbaceous display, keeping in mind not just colour, shape and form, but also flowering times and whether the plants will be compatible in specific conditions.

Key tasks this month have included getting involved in a weekly ‘blitz’ of the garden, which has meant clearing up dropped leaves across various areas, not just in our own section. I’ve also spent time learning how to prioritise all the different jobs involved in looking after an ornamental display, and hopefully next year you’ll get to see some of the bulbs we’ve planted in containers around the fountain. Although most of the flowering material has died down, there are still some beautiful grasses to admire around the Cory Lodge borders, including Calamagrostis brahcytrica, and in just a couple of months time the Winter Garden will really come into its own. Look out for the brilliant red stems of Cornus alba ‘Sibirica,’ a real treat on a crisp winter’s day!

Barbara Griffiths - Demonstration & Display
Horticultural Trainee


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Publication Date
30/11/2016