Gardener's Diary Post

June 2017

All is Fresh and Vibrant.

‘All of the hedging has been given a light trim along with some of the topiary box, but it is that time of year where when you turn around things have grown up again – at least all is fresh and vibrant. The hedges and grassy edges of Huff Lane have also been tidied up before it becomes too straggly.

The remaining cut weed in the loch has been raked out and barrowed away to be hidden in the undergrowth. The sheer bulk of this has been a surprise and challenge to get rid of.

Cleaning of art works continues – the Wave stones have been washed – the Present Order / Saint Just, the sailing boat / reef knot silhouettes, the pretty path – it is a continual round to keep on top of everything and have them looking, if not pristine, at least clear and legible. The Nuclear Sail has been cleaned and given a treatment of linseed oil and now looks suitably ominous again against the dark waters of the loch.

Further things have been planted out in the Kailyard from the greenhouse, the camouflaged raspberry canes have been weeded around – there is an abundance of red-currants coming on.

We have switched from bright sunshine and almost claustrophobic heat to much cooler showery days – at least it means not having to think of watering the container plants.

The ponds – Temple, Claudi, and the cloud pool have been cleared out again – hopefully rainfall will top up the troublesome Temple pond which still refuses to maintain its correct water level. The top and middle ponds still await further intervention, as the weed has come back again – it is obviously relishing the growing conditions this year.

There is a general round of pruning overgrown branches – by the Dido / Aeneas grotto, theHegel stile, and all the pathways where the edges are closing in.

We have a profusion of gallium aparine, robin-run-the-hedge, in the beds and borders – it is fairly easily pulled out by the arm-full but still clings to everything.

The sunken garden in the front has been spruced up and replanted with a few new rock plants – lamium, scabiosa, lithodora, acaena, parahebe, woolly thyme – hopefully these will naturalise in and form a sparkly green carpet effect around the stone inscriptions.

A few other new plants have been spotted in around the borders to fill gaps. In Julie‚Äôs Garden by contrast the fresh growth has to be kept under control as improved light levels from the lower yew hedges mean dormant understory planting has sprung up with replenished vigour- it is a matter of seeing what comes through and keeping all in balance.

The hydrangea by the temple of Baucis and Philomen has been cut back from the portico leaving the stone work and pillars clear of any growth.

A few straggly misshapen whitebeams have been removed by the little tomb to Our Cat, and a sorry looking yellow conifer nearby also cut down letting in new shafts of light at the entrance to the woodland garden.

Finally this month we were also joined for one week by a film crew from ARTE tv who are making a 30 minute documentary on Little Sparta to be screened next year – the weather was at its finest and most atypical – it will be splendid to see the summery results.’

George Gilliland, June 2017