Spring news from the Landscape Team
Wow, where does the time go! It seems like only the other day since our last update and so much has happened since.
At the start of March we spent some time clearing snow off the main pathways and hedge tops, setting out onions and potatoes in the greenhouses and ordering our annual flower and vegetable seeds for this year’s harvest and display. We continued with cutting back and clearance along the South Bank (opposite the vines) to open up views to the River Mole and the “borrowed Landscape” beyond. In addition, we spent time working on the slopes beneath the Temple of Bacchus felling poor and scrubby trees. We also spent time prepping the meadows for this year’s hay harvest by chain harrowing them. Once the snow had gone and the soil had warmed up we started planting out conifers and deciduous trees in a number of key areas around the Landscape.
April found us checking the previous year’s tree and shrub plantings, weeding them, feeding them and then applying our ‘homemade’ mulch to their top root area. We completed with this spring’s planting regime putting some conifers along the edges of Alpine Valley. We also began mowing this month (which is later than usual). Prior to starting mowing we aerated and fed all the lawned areas. As part of the continuing renovation of the Vineyard we have started removing some lines of tired plants, we will replant in early May. After the wet and cold start, followed by the glorious warm and dry weather we are now watering the trees and shrubs put in earlier this year.
During April we also completed our round of tree work for spring with a number of trees worked on by the tree surgery team. The big Cedar (Cedrus libani) on Grotto Island has undergone a substantial reduction and has “belts” around the trunk to hopefully keep it together a bit longer (fingers crossed).
The Landscape is pretty much awake now, the sap is rising, the trees and vines are unfurling their leaves and the flowers are blooming. We have had a wonderful display of snowdrops, the daffodils gave us carpets of yellow and now the bluebells look set to blanket the woodlands with blue haze coupled with their amazing fragrance.
Why not take a stroll around and see what hidden view you can find.