Gardener’s blog August 2020

The warm weather – coupled with lots of rain – means we will be particularly busy keeping the weeds at bay this month. Just like your own gardens, they grow seemingly out of nowhere, quickly! It’s a never-ending task, but weeding a border is satisfying because it makes a huge difference to how it looks.

This month, our priority will be keeping the plants in the nursery and glasshouses well-watered and we’re also playing catch-up by planting the summer bedding on the Terrace, so that visitors and members can enjoy vibrant displays of flowers.

This year, we’ll be planting dahlias, purple perillas, and mountain papayas (Vasconcellea pubescens) – and we promise an absolute showstopper in Dahlia imperialis (the tree dahlia). You have to wait a little longer for the flowers, but keep an eye on this beauty as it is definitely worth the wait; the blooms and dramatic foliage are stunners.

If you’ve been to the Gardens before, you’ll know we have a fabulous collection of cacti and other succulents, and these will be in a prominent position on the Terrace in August.

We’re looking forward to starting the planting in the new Urban Garden area, which is close to the popular Grass Garden. Transforming the tired, old show garden into four distinct urban garden spaces will revitalise this space and as well as planting the more usual vegetables and herbs, we’ll be adding some unusual choices in the hope of inspiring both new and experienced gardeners alike.

As well as welcoming back visitors and members to the Gardens, we’re also gradually bringing back our wonderful volunteers, without whose help the job of keeping the grounds would be so difficult. If you have some spare time and would like to help maintain our beautiful heritage site, applications for horticulture volunteers will re-open in September – your input will be valued and every hour of work makes a noticeable difference.

This month, the gardening team will also be putting a new horticultural trainee through their paces! It’s great to welcome trainees to the Gardens and all of the gardeners love passing on their knowledge and fostering new talent.

Now that the schools have closed for the summer holidays, we hope we’ll be seeing lots of you enjoying our wide, open spaces and tranquil environment. Since we reopened on June 17, thousands of you have visited us and we’ve loved chatting to you all again.

We’ve now opened the children’s playground from 10am-2pm, while our tea room is serving takeaway drinks and packaged snacks, such as chocolate bars and crisps, from 10.30am-4pm weekdays and 10.30am-5pm weekends. Restrictions are in place to safeguard everyone’s safety, so we hope to see you soon.