Gardener's Diary Post

May 2023

Freshness and promise…

Some may have noticed a lack of recent update information about goings on in the garden – this in part was a self imposed silence as we have been working away in the background trying to resolve some longstanding issues – in particular drainage – which do not necessarily make for interesting reading. 


There has been an extensive series of groundworks in the English Parkland, around the lower pond and lochan and on the moorside hill to correct recurrent problems with the system and improve conditions.


As often happens though, things have taken a bit longer to resolve than expected and so we have taken the decision to delay opening to the public for a few weeks to give all these new works a chance to settle in – and in particular for newly seeded grass areas and pathways to get a chance to germinate and establish.


Some artworks have also received attention with renewal of the rhododendron wood Metamorphic Trellis and re-levelling of some pieces which have been shifted over time by roots or sit in boggy ground, in particular the Virgil cobble groves in the Parkland and the Shadow column sundial at the top of the hill.


The hope is that when we do re-open none of these works or interventions will be apparent, that everything will have settled back into place.


Apart from these renovations we have been pushing ahead with all the usual seasonal tasks, though in general it feels like everything is a little bit late this year – even for here which always lags behind in terms of things coming into leaf and blossom. The Kailyard and Allotment have been planted out, the beds in the Hortus given a tidy and all the formal beds top dressed with a rich compost.

The lochan is getting its annual clear out and large clumps of flag iris have been taken out to redefine the perimeter and keep it in check from its gradual creep into the water, the potamogeton which now seems to dominate is cut back as low as possible but will inevitably resurface later in the summer – one of those never-ending jobs. All of the ponds and waterways receive more attention than usual as all leaks are sealed and the surrounding pathways resurfaced where they had become badly worn.


The artworks are given a good general clean and those which were still in storage put out into place.


And so everything begins again. The light changes, the canopy starts to close over, as all is filled with freshness and promise.