A letter from the Landscape Team
During the last month we have been busy preparing the Landscape garden for next season and tidying up from last season.
As part of this preparation and tidying work we completed the annual pruning of the vines in the Vineyard. There are quite a few vines and it takes a large team effort to prune them all. We start by selecting the best “cane” for next year and our “spur”. Then we prune out the growth that we do not need, cut any offshoots off the cane and reduce it to the required length. Then reduce the “spur” to 3 buds and clear away all the debris. Sounds simple …………… well it does when you write it down but in practice they don’t grow as the books say so an amount of experience comes into play – which is why “gardening is an art not a science!”
We also completed the majority of the leaf clearance from the Landscape during December. We compost the leaves in large heaps to the rear of the Turkish Tent, mix them with farmyard manure over a 12 month period and then re-use the results to improve the soil condition when replanting. And as a mulch to aid moisture retention and suppress weed growth.
In addition, we also prepared the planting holes for some “new” trees at Fir Walk (above the Vineyard). These “new” trees will be planted in early February to be the Fir Walk for the future. They are currently “heeled in” at the Kitchen Garden.
Did you know that Charles Hamilton (the gardens creator) lived and gardened here for approximately 35 years? We try to manage the garden as closely to his original vision as possible. In order to achieve this we have to remove trees and shrubs that have outgrown their allotted space. This gives us the opportunity to replant new trees and shrubs to continue with Hamilton’s vision.
Weather wise December was a changeable month with unseasonably warm days, sporadic heavy rain, occasional frosts and a brief flurry of snow. All of this has contributed to the Snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis) out by the Cascade waking up a little earlier than last year.
Why not take a walk out there and see them for yourself, and immerse yourself in Hamilton’s vision created over 270 years ago?
Best wishes from the Landscape Team for 2018