During this lockdown month, we have been keeping you in touch with the Garden by posting our Wellness Wanders each week (on a Wednesday), so those unable to visit can enjoy a short virtual visit. These will continue fortnightly over the Winter months.
We’ve also been posting weekly Garden news clippings. This is the last of these lockdown news updates. We’re pleased to hear many of you have enjoyed keeping in touch with the Garden in this way, so we hope to make this a regular feature in the New Year.
Week commencing 23 November:
This week we’ve seen morning frosts, fog and heavy dew – a real sign that winter is underway. They’ve also provided a perfect backdrop for the season ahead, when our Winter Garden comes into its prime. This week its plantings have been literally sparkling in the early frosts and dew.
Last week’s new plantings are already basking in the limelight, perfectly placed to capture the low winter light which has been bouncing off Cornus ‘Anny’s Winter Orange’ and highlighting the Cardoon’s coppery coloured seedheads, with Acer ‘Phoenix’ at the back, providing a fiery-red focal point for this whole area of new planting.
Further down the path the pinkish blossoms of the Viburnums are pumping out their perfume and we don’t think we’ve ever seen quite so many cherry blossoms in November. As David Austrin, who along with Pete Kerley looks after this area said this week: ‘the Winter Garden’s variety of the Fuji cherry, Prunus incisa ‘February Pink’ might warrant a name change – at least the ‘pink’ part is correct…’
Pete and David, helped by other members of the horticultural team have worked incredibly hard to get the Winter Garden ready for its season. They’ve been busy putting together the finishing touches – lifting the crown of golden bamboo – Phyllostachys aureosulcata ‘Aureocaulis’ to reveal its golden stems; mulching the entire area to set off the brightly coloured stems and foliages and at the beginning of this week they removed an old Viburnum tinus on the path around the back of the garden, replacing it with a variegated Elaeagnus pungens ‘Maculata’ to brighten up a dark corner.
The team have appreciated all the positive comments from this week’s visitors, who are clearly enjoying all the results and we hope that all those who are able to visit, will continue to enjoy the garden in all its winter glory over the months ahead.
Elsewhere, the cold mornings have brought a flurry of more leaf fall and teams from around the Garden are nearing the end of many weeks of lockdown leaf gathering and clearing!
Work in the Bog Garden also continues. The gault clay lining has been re-puddled and a humus-rich layer of compost has been put in place around the edge for the marginal plantings. Next steps are to reposition edging stones around the bed and re-lay the path.
On the Annual Beds, plant material that will either root or won’t rot down is being lifted, with any green material dug in to act as a manure before being raked over. Re-sowing will take place in early May.
And finally, we’re delighted that the Garden will be featured on ITV’s Good Morning Britain Lorraine show this coming Monday morning! The team visited the Garden pre-lockdown for planting inspiration with landscape designer John Wyer. This will be included in a short film about the benefits of gardens to wellness and wellbeing as part of a health campaign for NHS staff areas, working with NHS Charities Together. So tune in at 9am on Monday morning to find out more!