Head Gardener's Notes
Our Gardens in August: Blooms and Maintenance
8th of Aug, 2022
Visit Soon To See
- Wisteria second flush
- Italian Garden Roses
- Flag Garden Roses
- Granda Floria in Magnolia Garden (the biggest flowers in the Gardens!)
- The Tall Story’s second flush
- Water Lilies in the Italian Garden fountain and Diana’s Bath
- The Jubilee Walk – though still showcasing plentiful colour, it is clear to see that this border is currently under significant stress, which has prompted us to consider including more drought and wet winter resistant planting for 2023.
- Yellow yew hedges leading to Diana’s Bath from the Demi Lune (planted to affectionately look like giant bees diving into the hedge!)
- Rosy Cushion Rose on Flag Garden Mound
- Blue and Yellow Border (Rudbeckia and Helianthus to bloom soon to add to the yellow)
To Bloom Later this Month (Drought Depending!)
- Macmillan Nurse Rose (Rose Garden) to have its third flush soon
- Anna-Livia (Rose Garden) also about to have its third flush
The August Drought
We’re sure the announcement of the hosepipe ban was no surprise to residents in our local area. With record temperatures and minimal rainfall, our Gardens like many others have been struggling.
Normally, we would expect to see significantly more roses enjoying a second flush at this time of year, but the heatwave and drought has meant that many of our usual August blooms are hunkering down and rationing their resources.
At 40c, enzymes involved in photosynthesis begin to stop working and as flowering takes a significant amount of energy for the plants, we are seeing many of our usual blooms try to wait out the heat, or not have a second flush at all.
The George Carter Walk and Grey and White Gardens are a fantastic example of how drought resistant plants continue to thrive despite these dry and hot conditions. Filled with silvery-leafed plants that don’t have a flower, both Gardens are instead showcasing a variety of form and texture, rather than colour.
Elsewhere, the Fig trees appear to be actively enjoying the warmer weather and can be found thriving on Church Terrace. The same sadly cannot be said for all our fruit trees however, the Cherry Trees in the Flag Garden are showing signs of wilting in the heat despite an abundance of green leaves, and the apples it appears will need to harvested much earlier this year.
- Now complete: Dead heading the Peony Border
- Now complete: Topiary has been pruned
- To do: prune the pears in the French style which means any stems 22cm or longer are taken back to the buds, this has multiple benefits including:
- Thinning out the growth to promote healthy, manageable growth
- Allowing the sun to reach more of the fruit
- Reducing the need for anti-fungal treatment, as the sun, which can now reach the fruit, is a natural anti-fungal!
- To do: Dead head the lavender
- To do: Water new Apple Trees
- To do: Select new rose varieties to grow along the trellis in the Nut Garden. The roses will be chosen by Lady De L’Isle who regularly meets with our Head Gardener to discuss planting structures, planned works, and new ideas for the Gardens.
- To do: weed brickwork in Diana’s Bath (we will also be removing some of the pond weed but not as much as in previous years as it helps reduce evaporation)
What We’re Doing to Care for The Garden During Extraordinary Weather
- Leaving the grass long, for longer. The more cuts we make in the heat and drought, the more we risk causing stress which could greatly impact the grass over the next 12 months
- Using a minimum watering policy
- Dead heading the roses more frequently to help it contain its resources