Well, Basil really took the biscuit this week. (Actually it was two slices of homemade banana and walnut loaf). On Monday morning, quite early, whilst we were in the wildflower meadow watering the plants in the new border by the river, foxy came along, went into the shed and pulled our canvas bag from the chair, chewed through one of the handles and then tore open the plastic bag inside and slunk off with our elevenses! Although we never actually saw Basil…….and Sue from Assisi Cottage was nearby when we returned to the scene of the crime……!
The long border beneath all the roses in the Cloister Garth has been weeded and tidied. There are a few bright phlox and penstemons there, giving a nice splash of colour now that the roses have gone over. We found two lavenders that had been hidden. Most plants find it tricky to flourish there, it’s extremely dry, thin soil and most of the nutrients and water must get sucked up by the roses. Now the weeds and dead stems have been cleared and the ground dug over we can see that there is plenty of space for some new plants that can tolerate such sunny, dry conditions. In the autumn we’ll hopefully be able to get planting so that the border can be a real feature full of colour and scent throughout the summer next year.
We have been recycling some lovely, rustic hazel poles which we coppiced from another garden we work in. We’ve used some to make sturdy props for the rambling roses to lift them off the border and others to make an obelisk for the bright pink rose which is now flourishing in the left hand border as you walk towards the chapel. Since we cleared all the bindweed there a couple of weeks ago this area of the garden looks much better. We have put in some slips of pink cranesbill (hardy geranium) which will hopefully take and cover the bare ground around the rose.
We cut out all the deadwood from the syringa (lilac) in the garden behind the chapel and thinned out some of the older branches and stems to stop it from crowding out the roses in the border behind. Robert spent most of one morning shredding all the green cuttings waste and chipping the wood for the compost area.
In The Master’s Lodge Garden we spent a morning clearing weeds from the paths, but leaving in some self -sown penstemons and mullein pinks which look lovely and informal. We also cleared all the overgrown borage and spent bluebells from the border beneath the large apple tree and cleared some of the (huge) phlomis to make a small curving path under the canopy of tree. The rose border at the side of the Lodge was also weeded and tidied.
“Must see” items in the gardens this week:
In the wildflower meadow the pale lilac scabious and deep purply pink tufts of knapweed are looking fabulous and creating a mist of colour.
“Spot the prop”….take a walk along the long rose border in the Cloister Garth and see if you can spot where we have propped up the rambling roses with hazel poles.
Tracey and Robert… the gardeners.