Gardener's Diary Post

August 2017

Last Muggy Days of Summer.

‘There is an undecidedness to the weather and the season – already it is feeling autumnal as we try to cling on to the last muggy days of summer.

The ground underfoot is still very waterlogged and squishy in places, which causes problems for maintenance of the narrow grass pathways in particular. The paths around the top pond by the tree column base Pantheon are suffering very badly becoming muddy and unsightly and making for slippery passage.

All this water but we are still experiencing problems with the ponds. The Temple and Claudi ponds have been cleaned again, but there are problems with the top pond by the aqueduct entrance. The water has found a way out around the structure and is leaking – the area has been dug out and built up with sand bags and compacted by furious jumping, but it is a sneaky leak and keeps finding a new route around.

It seems there is a weakness in the foundation to the aqueduct structure itself, which will require more extensive investigation and intervention – but this will have to wait until end of season, as it will mean draining the pond to clear and access the source of the problem. In the meantime, as much as possible is being done to keep everything running.

Further down in the system a leak by the dam of the Xiape pool has been repaired.

The large yew hedge entrance to the English Parkland has been trimmed, along with the hedging in Huff Lane and elsewhere.

The annual cull of rose bay willow herb has taken place around the perimeter of the loch, on the hillside above Carthago – and in front of the Goose Hut – where it has become overly dominant in size and colour – it cannot be eliminated but hopefully regular intervention will keep it under control.

»By contrast the bright dense mounds of heather flowering in the moorland make for a sumptuous sight.«

The Camouflaged Flowers brass silhouettes and name plates have been given a fresh clean and polish and are gleaming once more.

Quite a few of the stone works have been given a clean of moss etc., where they were greening up – TO/RY, A/OR, Our Cat, No Ripe Rasp, Batty Langley ‘Delightful Entertainments’ urn, Georges Couthon spiral column. This work continues.

The beds of the Kailyard have been given a good clear out – an attempt to keep ever invasive ground elder at bay. The harvest this year is a poor one. Raspberry canes here and in the front garden have had this years growth cut back, leaving new growth ready for next season.

A couple of sections of the metamorphic trellis in the woodland have needed repair – fortunately just enough of a supply of the seasoned rhododendron wood required was found hidden at the back of the woodshed.

Leaves are already falling and much of the remaining floral and green growth is going over – all too quickly things are drawing to a close.’

George Gilliland, August 2017