This Week in The Garden…… 4th September 2020
There has been an unmistakably autumnal feel in the air over the last few early mornings in the Gardens. Chilly at first until the sun warms up and with a heavy dew on the grass. Last week’s rain has done wonders for the lawns, the grass has now greened up and looks healthy again, the amazing regenerative powers of Nature.
We started to clear the debris and thick nettlebed from the old wall at the north end of the Cloister Garth. It has taken four days of heavy digging to get halfway along, and we’ve filled four one-tonne builders’ bags with nettle and bramble roots, but the result is astonishing. Underneath the debris we found a huge old pile of composted garden waste which must have been there, mulching down, for years and years. It will be perfect for spreading on all the borders after all the autumn planting is done and will provide much needed nutrients for the new plants over the winter and spring.
The part of the old back wall that has been cleared and exposed looks beautiful, and will now make a lovely backdrop to the trained fruit trees that are to be planted along the front, keeping people well away from the wall. We still have the other half to clear and will aim to get it done in the next few weeks.
We have also tidied and weeded the riverside shady border beneath the large maple at the entrance to the wildflower meadow. Having dug out lots of couch grass, dandelions and bramble we made space to plant foxgloves, which we have grown from seed at home. About 150 small plants are now threading their way through the border. They will give height and colour in early summer next year after the bluebells and wallflowers have gone over. In combination with the lime green spurge flowers (euphorbia) it should look very attractive. We have also planted foxgloves along the Cherry Walk and created a mass of them under the old archway along with some of the divided cranesbill geraniums from the meadow borders which will, we hope, give a colourful “destination point” to visitors walking along to the archway, whilst clearly blocking it off so no-one can pass underneath.
Things to see in the garden this week:
- Take a last look at all the seedheads in the wildflower meadow…..next week we start to mow and make hay.
- The Chaste Tree (Vitex agnus castus) in the top corner of the Cloister Garth as you walk to the chapel is now in flower – a very soft lilac blue which looks like a haze of lavender from a distance.
- A kingfisher has been spotted sitting on Assisi Bridge, watching the river below for fish. He’s only there early, before the punts and rowing boats appear.
Tracey and Robert… the gardeners.