Head Gardener's Notes

Head Gardener's Notes: Summer 2018

15th of Jul, 2018

It’s hot, very hot. With little rain at the start of the summer and none forecast for weeks, the gardens are looking particularly dry. The grass is brown, and the beds will show signs of lack of water. However, many of the flowers from the Med are enjoying the unusual heatwave whilst the pergola in the nut garden gives shade to those flowers less accustomed to this climate.


Throughout the season we have continued the work in the Union Flag Garden, with the planting of dianthus taking the place of the red roses for the last time as ‘The Times Rose’ has now been chosen to complete the planting and will be planted in November. The Times Rose is a fully double, scented, floribunda with a beautiful deep red colour and will make an attractive addition to the impressive Flag Garden.


After a late frost eradicated many of our fruits last year, we’re pleased to see that this year the apples and pears are growing well on the trees. We must ask you please not to pick them though, as they will not be ready until the autumn when we will use them in the restaurant for pies and cakes. We have carried out a summer prune of the pears based on a French system where we remove all the longer growth from this year; this allows sunlight into the tree and keeps it compact while reducing problems with disease and fungi.


On the Jubilee Walk and other borders we are carrying out the division of rhizome Iris, we have waited around 6 weeks after they have flowered and will lift them, remove the old rhizomes, tidy the tops and return them to the beds. With the weather being so dry we will have to water them regularly until they have re-established. A good tip is to soak the ground the evening before planting, as this will give a better environment at the start, helping to keep the moisture at the root rather than sitting on the surface when the ground is solid.


With best wishes,

Tony Wiseman