Head Gardener's Notes
Our Gardens in June: Blooms and Maintenance
1st of Jun, 2022
Warmer days have now arrived and the Gardens are full of vivid colour, a range of texture and the sounds of birds and bees flying overhead. The grass is growing quickly (which means the weeds are, too!) and a lot of our Team’s focus is on maintenance and cutting back.
Already in bloom (visit soon to see!):
- Wisteria – Paved Garden & Italian Garden
- Irises – Blue and Yellow Border
- Lupins – Jubilee Walk
- Californian Poppies – Jubilee Walk
- Irises – Jubilee Walk
- Clematis – Nut Garden
- Macmillan Nurse Rose – Rose Garden
To bloom this month:
- The Peonies in the 100 metre border (some are already out, but the full display won’t be for a few days yet!)
- Tall Story Roses – outside the Baron’s Hall
- Low-lying herbaceous plants – Jubilee Walk and Blue and Yellow Border
- Rambling Roses – can be found everywhere but most especially on our archways and trellis
- Queen Elizabeth Rose – Jubilee Walk (just in time for the Platinum Jubilee!)
- Lilac – Long Border
To bloom in late June/ early July:
- Rambling Roses – Nut Garden
- Times Rose – Flag Garden
- Rosa Kent – Flag Garden
- Lavender – Flag Garden
Work This Month
Cutting back in the George Carter
The George Carter Border is now in its 5th year which gives us a great chance to see how the original planting structure is fairing, as it’s often not until a border has become fully established that you can properly assess how the design works in real life, which can take a few years. We will soon be moving a few of the plants from one part of the border to another where there are issues of overcrowding, and completely removing a few others to make room for new plants. Lady De L’Isle has asked us to add in a Japanese anemone which we will be looking to include soon.
When the sun shines – make hay!
We have now strimmed off the bulk of the tall grass in the Orchard. The cut grass has been left on the ground to dry out and will then be collected to make hay which will be used for our compost.
In the Orchard you will also notice the first glimpses of apples! Though barely bigger than crab apples at the moment, thanks to a change in the way we have pruned the trees this year we are expecting a bumper harvest this Autumn!
Our apprentice garden
On your approach from the visitor entrance to the Gardens, you will see a small garden to your left, just before you pass the large horse pond. In its first inception, this area used to be known as the Sensory Garden and was created for the Chelsea Flower Show. Now this space is the responsibility of our apprentices who we train through our partnership with Hadlow College. Our apprentices are able to design and maintain a planting selection of their choice under the guidance of our Head Gardener, and learn valuable skills about how their chosen plants interact in real life, giving them a better understanding of how to design successful, healthy garden spaces.
The Chelsea Chop
Across the gardens we have this year been employing a method of pruning known as the Chelsea Chop – a term coined by designers who use this method to prepare plants for the Chelsea Flower Show. The Chelsea Chop involves cutting back a plant leaving only half, or even just a third of the original size. As well as managing height to keep plants within a border uniform, this also delays the plants flowering season and encourages more buds in a smaller area which creates a better timed and better looking display!
With the warm weather comes the growth spurts of the grass, and unfortunately, the weeds! Whilst we can manage of lot of the growth with frequent mowing and hoeing, occasionally beds require a more in-depth approach known as detail weeding. This is a process whereby a few of the team all focus on one particular area within a display, and make their way across it weeding as they go. This helps ensure that nothing is missed. This method is quite time consuming but ultimately worth it for the overall appearance and health of the gardens.