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Historic Diary Entries

23rd April 2019


As anticipated the growth rate of grass, weeds and just about everything else is phenomenal.  The ground has nicely warmed up and after the warm weather we are going to get some much-needed rain. From now on it’s full steam ahead.

In the garden the last of the flowering cherries are in bloom. The magnificent Prunus shirofugen which greets you as you walk towards the Court is simply stunning. Just beyond it are the flowering crab-apples Malus ‘John Downie’ making a great frothy cloud, matched further into the garden by the Japanese crab-apple Malus floribunda. These in turn are closely followed by the bird cherries, Prunus padus, along the side of the lake. All quite breath-taking.

And as well as the joy of what is in flower now is the anticipation of what comes next. The Wisteria flowers are unfurling and the buds on the early roses are getting fatter. Exciting times.

This week we open our doors for the season. The garden is looking beautiful and hopefully you can come along and see it for yourself.







  










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 #%#


3rd May 2019


Next Monday is the busiest day in our gardening year when we open our doors for the National Garden Scheme from 2pm. There is so much to see and appreciate: clematis festooning the house, blossom on the pears, apples and crab-apples, wisteria, wildflowers and so much more.

Believe it or not the very first roses are flowering and although no where near in flower the rose garden itself is looking fantastic with so much lush growth and colourful underplanting.

At the further end of the garden the wildflower meadow has sprung to life and the thousands of Camassia are looking like a carpet of posh Bluebells.

If you come along don’t forget to visit the Fernery in the ruined north chapel of the priory. It is in its second season and looking pretty good. I am always adding new ferns to it and they all seem to be loving the cool damp conditions.


All-in-all the weather forecast is promising so please come and enjoy the garden. There are plants for sale and plenty of tea and cake.








  










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 #%#


9th May 2019


On Monday we had over 400 visitors to the garden! Although not all that warm it was fine and I think everyone enjoyed themselves, helped in no small part by the flower festival in the priory and tea and cake.  

Now we are in to the month of May, the busiest time of year for gardeners when so much is growing. Luckily, we are getting a helping hand form the weather: some rain at last.


One part of the garden now starting to thrive is the wildflower meadow. A few years ago I planted a thousand Camassia and although good in previous seasons this year they are at their best. Last time I called them posh bluebells because the unopened buds look like emerging bluebells, but once open they reveal a much deeper blue-purple which can be appreciated close-up or at a distance.


On Monday I was very pleased to overhear some very positive remarks about the garden and the fernery in particular. It is remarkable how quickly this has become established and it is only going to get better. If you are visiting the garden and see the gardeners do say hello. It is great to talk.  









  










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 #%#


23rd May 2019


The weather is ominously similar to last year! Late May is sunny and dry and already I’m hoping for rain. On the back of a dry start to the year the impact of the little rain we have had soon wears off.


You might say one beneficiary are the roses. They are definitely flowering earlier than usual and have already put on a good show. It looks like being a good year for the roses.


The wildflower meadow goes from strength to strength. The yellow rattle is blooming and doing its job of knocking back the grass so allowing other flowers to prosper. So beautiful in the sunshine.


Of course, the mundane side of gardening goes on: hedges grow a lot in May and may need a tidy. Grass grows as fast as ever and some of our lawns are cut twice a week. And watering has started to occupy our time. So much to do, so little time!  










  










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 !"#$#%&

'%%#

()$

  *#Magnolia

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%#$"#/ #*. #

-### -

 #%#


30th May 2019


Some unexpected rain yesterday, just as we were finishing the box hedging. It is so much easier, and much better, to cut box in the dry. It is important to collect all the clippings to guard against the possibility of box blight and damp conditions make that harder and are what the fungal spores prefer. Anyway, it’s done now for the year, although I will have to keep an eye out for the appearance of blight.


A visitor yesterday pointed out that the roses were out before the peonies, which they thought was unusual. But the roses are out and I would say definitely earlier than previous years. (Much as I like rain, and we do need lots of it, it does weigh heavy on rose blooms causing them to hang their heads.) As for the peonies, they are just about to flower in the new peony bed we planted last year and they should make quite a show!











  










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 !"#$#%&

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()$

  *#Magnolia

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-### -

 #%#


6th June 2019


As anticipated the Peonies have started to flower. Created only a year ago, the Peony border is already looking well established. We planted 20 good, strong plants of mixed varieties, which should provide a long flowering season. Alongside the peonies we planted narcissi, alliums, bleeding-hearts and lamium. These all provide a show before the peonies but then give way to the main event. It all seems to have worked out really well.

The roses continue to impress. With the slightly cooler conditions the roses are not getting blasted and so should flower now for a good period and are making a fantastic display. With the under planting in full cry too, it all makes for a very colourful scene.

At the very end of the garden, and a total contrast to the formality by the house, the border alongside the fourth pond is looking superb. It was totally cleared of brambles and nettles two winters ago and re-stocked with woodland-friendly plants such as ferns and foxgloves. Right now it is working  a treat.

 












  










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  *#Magnolia

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%#$"#/ #*. #

-### -

 #%#


19th June 2019


I wasn’t wrong about the peonies. They are stunning and thankfully standing up to the rain.


We wanted the rain and we got it. Great for the garden. Although it plays havoc with grass cutting and rose petals I am not complaining. It is the growing season and after this lot I expect the garden to look green and lush for a good few weeks. This time last year in the heatwave we were having to water anything newly planted just to keep them alive. Not this year.


There is plenty of flower colour in the garden and the slightly cooler conditions will help the roses last that bit longer. I am really pleased with the four rambling roses on the arbour. As part of its reconstruction, started two years ago, the roses which are all 40 years old, were cut right down to the ground and have responded by growing vigorously and producing masses of flowers.


Its lovely when a plan works out.    


 












  










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