Let’s Start at the Beginning

25 November 2020

Where to begin, probably with a “Hello” and glad to be able to say we are all well in the gardens team. Do not worry much has passed us by so I will not write a book for you all, but I am just glad that we have made great progress in this challenging year. I hope that everyone has had a chance during the last few months to enjoy their gardens or outdoor spaces no matter how small. These have really become a haven for many and have shown the great benefits they bring to people. With a reduced staff during the week like most we need to do what we can and learn new ways of doing things. I am happy to say we have completed many tasks and now planning for future improvements for the coming months.

Thinking back to March when I was writing the last blog and what we had planned cutting back, pruning, mulching, middle terrace works, amongst other tasks but it was under control. Then we had to be more flexible and imaginative than ever before. With beds needing cut back, and much of the mulching still to do it was going to be a challenge. Of course, not forgetting that the middle terrace metal work was just completed but soil levels being finalised for lawns, lawns and paths being reinstated was all still to be completed. Where to begin with only one person? What to priorities and what was achievable with such a reduced staff.

I am very happy with the results of the middle terrace and how it is now presenting itself. The weather dried up after a wet period and we were able to bring in the 50 tonnes of gravel in for the paths and even begin to mow the grown in lawn edges. There is still some growing in work to be done next spring but its nice to be able to say that this part of the middle terrace improvements is now complete.

Planning the weeks work is sometimes a challenge as its been so wet the last couple of months but we put the waterproofs on and brave the weather. A task that I wanted to get done this year was to remove the Lime suckers from the base of the Limes that make up the avenue of the East Drive. This was done with hedge trimmers and secateurs. This will be a yearly task to keep these healthy and the view to the fields beyond clear.

The general daily and weekly seasonal tasks never went away but we have taken time to focus in on rejuvenating certain plants such as the roses which have now been cleared of the damaged crossing and diseased growth and fresh wires and supports added. Hope that next spring they will thank us with bud galore. As always hedges were cut and shaped and areas of growing in are beginning to fill in which is fantastic. A liquid seaweed feed has been applied to these areas and this seems to have produced healthier stringer growth than before.

As time passes so quickly now, its that time of year where we protect those plants vulnerable to frost and take in such plants as dahlias for winter storage. Its been mild but I am sure the frost is not far away.

If there is anything we can take away since March about our gardens and outdoor spaces no matter how much space we have, is that our gardens will always be there for us even when we have not been there for it. Gardens and our outdoor spaces do not judge us and can be our learning space, our office and, like for me, a haven at the end of a long day. Enjoy!


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