Head Gardener's Notes
Cory, our Head Gardener (c) Tonbridge Daily
Snowdrops on Church Terrace
Nut Garden (c) Leigh Clapp
The weather has been so cold that it almost seems like nothing has happened in the garden since the last notes! But longer and warmer days are inevitable and we can only be led by the weather. By the start of April 2012 most of the bulbs were going over from what was to become the wettest drought in history. This year the Daffodils have been held back from the low temperatures, and we still had snow drops out in full display on Church Terrace at the end of March. Also the Magnolias in the Magnolia Garden have been a bit held back. It means that potentially we may have an incredible spring display, especially in the Nut Garden, with bulbs and blossom all arriving at the same time! It will certainly be better than last year. When the cold weather does move on, hopefully it will stay away until November!
Although cold, it has been somewhat drier than the winter period and it has meant that we have really been able to catch up on our seasonal tasks. As I said last month, every cloud has a silver lining. Now that the horse pond has finally filled up and returned to its normal level (the first time in over 4 years!) there will be wonderful views of the Daffodils reflected in the water. It’s a great spot to have a picnic.
You may see us out and about undertaking the finishing touches to the rose beds in the Rose Garden, or staking the peonies on the Peony Border with hazel sticks from the Nut Garden. You will also see that we are doing some major work in the Blue and Yellow Border as well as continuing our project in the Rose Garden throughout the year.
At this time of year the grass areas in the garden can quickly become muddy and potentially slippery. Not only should you take extra caution around the garden, but sometimes we may have to close areas off or divert the flow of traffic for which I apologise. I have already temporarily roped off a couple of areas within the garden as we have sown new grass seed there and it just needs a bit more time to properly establish without any foot traffic. I hope this does not prove to be an inconvenience to you.
On a final note, there are a few large gaps in the bulb display in the Italian Garden this year. With food being scarce this winter, the local wildlife have had to travel further afield to find enough to survive on, and unfortunately the local Badgers have taken a liking to Tulip Bulbs. It may mean that we will have to do a massive replanting next year. Also please take extra care on Church Terrace, unfortunately the badgers have been digging a lot around there too and this has left the surface very uneven. The views from the terrace really show off the garden, and you may also spot the repairs made to the top of the wall there too.
There is further information on the projects we are currently undertaking in the gardens on the blackboards near Jubilee Walk, as well as on our website. You can also use the QR code at the bottom to take you directly to the information.
I hope you enjoy seeing the results of all our work as much as we do, and come back to see everything mature and grow. Let hope we have a decent summer to make up for the appalling 2012 and start to 2013, and lets hope we end up with fields full of food for our rich and diverse wildlife!
Looking forward to the season ahead,