Head Gardener's Notes

Head Gardener's Notes: Summer 2019

28th of Jul, 2019

As I write this summer’s Head Gardener’s Notes, it’s 35 degrees in the garden and we are working hard to keep the greenhouses under 40 degrees; should the temperatures inside exceed that, the plants can suffer permanent damage.

The summer heat is moving swiftly into the gardens, and we are now beginning the more maintenance-heavy side of our work. The big jobs of planting, summer pruning and shrub reductions are behind us (so we can now begin to stand up straight again!), with the lavender and yew hedges pruning, and the autumn garden tidy ahead. During the summer months, staying on top of growth in the gardens becomes especially important, and this season you’ll be likely to spot us tidying the edges along the borders, grass cutting and weeding to keep the gardens looking pristine. We’ll also be starting work on the dead-heading of many of our blooms to ensure their ongoing success for future years.

You may have noticed a change in the Flag Garden from last year, not least because the weather this year has been slightly milder for the most part, and the grass hasn’t yet been coloured in patches of yellow. In the beds themselves, we’re celebrating the first fully established year of the red “The Times Rose”, which completes the rejuvenated planting of the red, white and blue beds filled with roses and lavender.

Though not quite as dry as 2018, this summer’s lack of rainfall does bring its own challenges. We are having to pay special attention to our most recent plantings as, before they have time to become fully established, they are more at risk at suffering from stress or a lack of water. We will be keeping a keen eye on them to ensure their survival through a potentially hot and dry summer.

Our work continues on the Jubilee Walk which is in the middle of a planting shake up. You may notice that some of its beds have a few empty spaces – this allows us to get on top of any weeds and properly assess our new proposed planting structure. Over the next couple of seasons the beds will be planted up ready for next summer.

Elsewhere in the gardens I’m pleased to mention the George Carter Walk has now completed its first fully established year and has filled out, with the larger roses and shrubs promising more colour and form in the future.


With best wishes,

Tony Wiseman