This Week in The Garden…… 8th December 2020
After all the preparation of the last few weeks a lorry load of plants arrived from the wholesaler and we have been busy planting following designer Sarah Morgan’s plan.
The new entrance courtyard has old roses and honeysuckles to climb and cover the walls and ferns, hesperis, wallflowers, lily of the valley and alchemilla mollis will spread to soften the path edges.
The long rose border in the Cloister Garth has been filled with scented plants like lavender, rosemary, fennel, hyssop, wall germander, oregano and artemisia. The cutting garden beds are beginning to be filled with rows of comfrey and borage, feverfew and yarrow already in place to overwinter. In one of the beds we are using the lupins, phlox, hardy geranuims and penstemons that have been transplanted from other parts of the garden.
There are new plants in the riverside border and the North Chapel borders. A stand of osier willow has been planted along the grassy bank at the chapel end of the Cloister Garth. This will be coppiced each year to give a mass of bare, bright, golden stems in winter and a leafy willow walk during the summer months.
Robert has been in his waders in the river to tackle the mass of Russian vine that had completely smothered the fence of 6a’s garden and was threatening to overtake Assisi Bridge. The rowing boat was used to ferry the huge clumps of vine back to the steps where we could unload it. Tracey worked from the garden side, cutting from ground level and pulling the vine up and over. Sadly over the years the ivy and vine roots have damaged the top of the old wall and the iron railing fence. Now that it has all been cleared hopefully repairs can be made!
Whilst on the subject of repairs, we have also cleared back the ground ivy, bergenia and self- seeded beech saplings from the base of the Lovelace Wall near the chapel so surveyors can assess what repairs may be able to be done to make this part of the wall safe and preserve it for future generations.
The cold, misty mornings have been very atmospheric and when the sun struggles through the cloud haze there are some amazing winter colours in the garden at this time of year; our highlights are:
- Deep blue black berries on the myrtle bushes in the entrance courtyard contrast beautifully against the emerald waxy leaves and the red brick wall.
- The golds, russest and browns of the beech hedging look very vibrant, even on the dullest day.
- In the Cloister Garth border the rosehips stand out, their deep scarlet almost glows it’s so bright.
- The palest pink winter cherry blossom is just unfurling along the Cherry Walk by the Lovelace Wall.
- In the riverside border the dogwood that we hard-pruned earlier in the year is sending up new vivid yellow wand-like stems that look very striking.
Tracey and Robert… the gardeners.