4 March 2020

Timothy-Michael Takes A Break.

The head gardener taking a break from pruning the Poets Wife..

7 February 2020

Raising Their Canopies.

I spent some time yesterday raising the canopy of the trees down the back drive. This should enable me to maintain the ground beneath them more easily so therefore give a better overall appearance to the place which is particularly important as it's the first thing visitors see when they arrive.
I noticed on my travels that there are a few miniature Daffodils in flower on the banks by the front drive.

3 February 2020

Little Clues

One of the things I like about working with an old garden are the little clues it throws up about what  went before. This tree is no longer here. I'm often finding these tags when working around the place.

29 January 2020

Tidying The Conservatory

Today we were going to Prune some apple trees but the head gardener decided it was to cold and windy so he's got me tidying the conservatory area instead.

I have some cutting down to do, a Bay tree and climbing rose to Prune and all the rubbish to Rake up and cart away.

There is talk of replacing this conservatory with a new one when they have the money, I don't know when this will be and I'm sure that when they do and if I'm still here it will become part of the wedding venue therefore out of bounds to me so it's not really something I think about too much.

The head gardener Timothy Michael checking out what needs to be done.

28 January 2020


This is a trial post to see if this still works.

Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone.

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.