A Magnificent May

A Magnificent May

May brought a sudden surge in growth throughout the grounds and gardens and we are surrounded by beautiful new growth, exceptional floral displays, and tonnes of weeds! It’s the same every year and we are run off our feet trying to keep everything under control. It’s worth all the hard work though, as the gardens are simply stunning right now. The herbaceous borders are starting to flower, as are the Seven Sisters, Fairy Glade, and the Himalayan Valley. In fact, there is something new around every corner.

We are planting up all our seasonal display beds with mixed bedding and we also put up all of our hanging baskets this week. In the beds, we generally use a mix of begonias, petunias, lobelia, and geraniums. The secret to a good display is regular watering and feeding. We use phostrogen plant food every second week through the growing season. We also use the largest baskets possible as they are so prone to drying out. Here’s hoping for a good summer and fabulous displays.

The regular maintenance work of grass cutting, strimming, edging and weed control is now taking up a large portion of our available time and it really is a question of juggling jobs to try and keep things tidy. Although it is hectic, it is also the time of year when you start to see a lot of results from your winter and spring projects. Some of our new plantings is developing nicely, but we need to remember to water everything we plant.

The glasshouses are looking full, and we have peaches, nectarines, apricots, grapes, strawberries, and assorted vegetables all coming along nicely. There was a good bloom in our new heritage apple orchard this year, and we haven’t had many late frosts, so we are hoping to improve on last year’s crop. Our bee observatory is open and is proving extremely popular with local visitors. They can observe the bees coming and going from their hives and there are several information panels in the building. We have also added a screen showing video of inside one of the hives. We produced a small amount of honey last year, and we hope to get a lot more this time around. Keep your eyes open in the shop later in the year.

Jobs for June will include sowing outdoor vegetables, pruning grape vines and pinching out tomatoes and cucumbers side shoots and start to feed with seaweed feed or similar. Spray the potatoes for blight if necessary. Keep an eye out for pests as the weather warms up. We introduce biological controls for aphids and mealybug in our glasshouses. Spray roses for blackspots and aphids or use soap suds if it is a small infestation. Plant out bedding if not already done; keep up to speed with watering both in and outside. Newly planted or potted plants are especially prone to stress from drying out.

I look forward to seeing you in the gardens.