4 November 2019

Some Autumn Planting Work.

Today we have been doing some planting which wasn't enjoyable on account of how wet the ground is and also how wet it's been again all day. Anyway not to worry, I need to get used to it as we have quite a bit of lifting and planting planned for this week.

The first job for today was to take out the summer bedding from Pumpend wall and replant with Pansies.

The next job was to sort out a corner in the courtyard. There used to be a big Buddleia bush in this corner but the builders put an end to that. Before I could do any planting I needed to put down some edging stones and work over the soil as it was full of rocks and stones. To give you some idea I will tell you that all the edging stones actually came out of the soil plus half a trailer load of rubble type stuff.

The boss has recently acquired some plants from a friend so he asked me to put them in the corner. There are a couple of Verbena Bonariensis, some Salvia and I found three Lavender plants plus a few other things which I can't tell what they are at the moment as they have no leaves on them. They are a surprise for next year.

1 November 2019

North Front Rockery Tidy Up.

This past week I have been on quite a big tidy up project. It's a corner of the North Front that is a bit out of the way and because of this is at the back of the queue when it comes to getting attention. It was over grown when I came here and I reclaimed it and had it nice for a few years but then went and let it slip back into the clutches of brambles and other nasties. When we started doing the weddings I started to give them priority over the gardens and this has proved to be totally the wrong way to go about it. I have found that if I give the gardens what they need when they need it then they give me what I need for the weddings if you see what I mean.

Anyway here are some pictures from the North Front rockery tidy up. The pictures are arranged in a before and after sequence to give you some idea what was done. The job isn't finished as I need to find some plants to put in. There wasn't much there to start with but what there was had suffered from being over grown so I thought it best to start again.

I also have to do something with the front of the border which also carries on along the front of the wall for quite some way so there is still quite  a lot of work to be done in this area of the garden but this coming week I have some lifting and planting to do so won't get back here for a while.

27 October 2019

My Flower Of The week (Cockspur Hawthorn).

The flower I've chosen to show you from the garden this week is actually a tree but at this time of the year it's as good as a flower so I thought I would include it. It's called Cockspur Thorn, and if you would like to read more about it click [HERE].

24 October 2019

No Waste Removal.

Today I have been doing some work on the big flower border and so I thought it would be a good opportunity to show you the no waste removal technique that I've been toying with.

This is the flower border before work began. It's a mix of perennials, shrubs and roses. It's the perennials that I am cutting down on this occasion although I did prune a couple of roses as I had some time to spare at the end of the day.
Here you can see all the rubbish cut down and spread along the edge of the lawn. It's best spread out a bit so as to get the mower over it. I have the mower set on it's highest setting for the first past and then lower it a bit at a time until it's no it's lowest setting.
Here is the rubbish looking from the other end of the border.
By the time the mower is down to the low setting this is what the rubbish looks like and as you can see it's reduced no end and even if you don't fancy putting it back on the border I still think it's worth getting it to this stage as it's been reduced from something like three trailers full to maybe half a trailer full.
After I got it all chopped up I got the backpack blower and blew it off the grass back on to the border making sure to spread it evenly around which is not difficult as it soon loses itself among the plants.
So anyway this has saved me no end of time carting it all away, turning it in the compost heap and then bringing it all back again and while I don't suppose it's as good as compost it must do some good I would have thought. Below shows what effect it has on the border once the rubbish has been blown back on. In spring I will top dress with fertiliser and fork over the soil and it should be good to go for another year.

22 October 2019

Holly Hedge Trim.

Today I've been trimming the Holly hedge behind the big flower border. It's not a job that I look forward to as Holly is not nice to work with also cutting the backside of the hedge is a pain. It's no problem for me but I get some funny looks from passers-by.

In this picture you can see the hedge running behind the flower border. The hedge is about eight foot high from this side and probably about half that from the other side.

Here is a closer look from one end. as you can see I make no attempt to cut it straight or anything, it's purely a trim to keep it in order.

Usually I will load up the trailer three or four times with clippings and cart them off to the burn pile but this time I did the mulching thing that I mentioned the other week. I wasn't sure how it would work with Holly clippings but as you can see below it worked very well. I ran over them a few times with the mulching mower and then blew them all back under the hedge. I think it's actually done a better job than raking them up because the mower also cut down any rubbish in the hedge bottom. I will try and do a post on it sometime if anyone is interested.

21 October 2019

New Measure Board.

Today I managed to get all the Garlic, Onions and Shallots planted. It was quite a job and not at all pleasant on account of the ground being so wet after all the rain we've been having and even as I was planting them it kept on damping from time to time. Because of this I had to keep working the ground as I was planting rather than working over the whole bed and then planting which I would normally do. Anyway we got there in the end and so now I just have to wait and see how they grow. They are all Autumn planting varieties so they should be alright.

Before starting with the planting I decided to make myself a new measuring board. The old one which I've had for a few years now is getting a bit fragile due to it having a big knot right in the middle. I was thinking of bracing it somehow but then I came across this piece of wood one day so decided to do new rather than repair. I do have a garden line but I find the board much more convenient to work with.
 I have three measurements on the board. twelve inches is the cut right across and then on one side is marked four inches and on the other side is marked six inches. I use a saw to cut in the marks rather than a marker or whatever, that way you can still see them even when the measure is wet and dirty. Just don't make the cuts to deep though. You hardly need to do much more than a scratch on the surface. Also it's best if the measure is around the same length as the beds you're going to be using it on.

20 October 2019

My Flower of The Week (Bacopa).

The flower I've chosen to show you from the gardens this week is Bacopa. I grow it in various places around the gardens, mostly in walls and pots where it can trail and hang down although it can be used as ground cover as well. I have taken to growing this instead of Lobelia in recent years as I find it lasts longer with me. It is best treated as an annual but I have seen plants that I've missed pulling out that have grown again the following year although this is not to be relied on as I'm sure a cold winter would see the end of it.

Some Bacopa info.
I get my Bacopa seedlings from here.
 I'm thinking that the Fuchsia featured last week would be a good match for these earns next year.

18 October 2019

Ivy Bustin' (Part Three).

Today we are going to be tackling the wall behind the Blue Spruce border. This is just an Ivy maintenance job as it's trimmed every year. It has in fact already been done once this year but by a little hotel gardener rather than the big house gardener which is why it needs doing again now. anyway without further ado, lets get going.

This is the picture we started with. It had grown over the wall but it was nothing like the last wall and was just a matter of pulling back over and then snipping off just below the top to remove the worst and then measuring a set distance from the top and making another cut to get a straight line.
 I do two cuts as it's hard to get the line straight if you have all the weight of the Ivy pulling down. So basically I remove all the weight and then just have a few inches left to snip off. Here you can see the job part way through.

16 October 2019

Ivy Bustin' (Part Two).

Today we are attempting to get this Ivy under control. Whenever I've done anything with it in the past it's been nothing more than a trim but it never looks right because the growth on the top is uneven so this time I have decided to take it down to the top of the wall as well as trim the sides. We always try to leave some of the sides as it makes a good place for birds to nest also when it flowers it attracts the bees so Ivy is not all bad but it does need to be kept under control. Anyway here goes.

This is how it was when we started which was okay and some may even prefer it like this, but this is an important part of the garden for weddings and so I decided that it looks a bit scruffy to be attending weddings.
 This picture is take from on top of the wall and shows what I had to contend with. It got even worse further along where there were vines as thick as my wrist all intertwined which I could only be remove a few inches at a time.

And here we have the finished article being inspected by the head gardener who thought it looks a bit sparse now but I assured him it would green up nice in the spring and would look great this time next year.

15 October 2019

Ivy Bustin' (Part One).

This wee we are going to be Ivy bustin'.

First on the list is the back steps to the office where there is some to be trimmed and also some random bits further along to be removed altogether.