12 Apr 2014

Life back in the garden

 During the winter months we close to the public which mean the gardens can be a very quiet place.  This week however has been completely different, the gardens are now full of the sound of birdsong, feet walking through the newly gravelled pathways and the occasional chirp of child laughter which is a welcome sign that the kids are on Easter break.  Having visitors back in the garden after its winter slumber is great, the conversations and enquiries regarding "how many gardeners are there" and "what plant is that" are just a few of the many questions we enjoy to field as we go about our work. 
Our "Grow your own sunflower" bench has been very popular with children who have been able to plant their very own giant sunflower seed in a pot to take home with them to grow.
The favourable early season has seen our plants grow on much early than expected, in our perennial garden room we are seeing not only good strong plants pushing up from their dormant subterranean boltholes, but even flower buds forming on such as the Geums and Delphiniums.  With this in mind our focus is very much on weeding and mulching our beds which the help of our invaluable volunteers. 
Our cut flower room hosts not only our stunning Camellias and Azalea which are in full flower at the moment but ranks of perennial plants just pushing through and starting out on thier journey to the florist's bench in the hall.
Other life is evident in the garden too, the heat from our walls and gravel pathways provide excellent thermals for birds of prey and often on a sunny day you can look up to see a brace of Red Kites and also Buzzards wheeling around looking for lunch. 
 Life in some unexpected places too, while manuring the veg plot this week i noticed this fascinating fungi, a bit of googling leads me to believe this is the wonderfully named "Egg Head Mottlegill", although I'm happy to be corrected.
Future life in the garden is also very much in our minds at the moment.  Our amazing glasshouses are currently bursting at the seams with seedlings, plantlets and seed trays.  The eager wait for the last frost date is palpable and when it does arrive we will no doubt see a mass exodus from the sanctuary of the glass into the gardens to provide flower and vegetables for the coming season.
The last job of the week saw some of the giant vegetables sown in pots in our heated propagation box.  Below you can see giant Pumpkins and giant Marrows which will hopefully provide a little excitement in the veg patch along with the giant Onions, Leeks, Sunflower, Cabbages and Cauliflowers. 
Fingers crossed! 

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