Gardener’s Blog – March 2020

Time to get the mower out

There’s a lot to do in the Gardens this month, as spring really starts to kick in – you can almost smell the change of season in the air!


One of the biggest jobs this month will be planting the tufa cliffs in the new Alpine Glasshouse – we have several species from Europe and Asia and we’ll be displaying them in a naturalistic style, as you’d see them in the wild. We’ve already placed the Westmorland limestone rocks and the five outcrops will be now top-dressed with suitable limestone aggregates and planted with species from the European mountain ranges. We’re really enjoying seeing how this new area of the Gardens has developed over the past few months and can hardly wait to unveil it officially.


There’ll be some changes to the Japanese Garden, too, as we top dress it with more gravel and add some planting. Members of the Japanese Garden Society and volunteers will be helping us to ensure we complete the task in exactly the right way.


As we are a charity that receives no public funding, we very much rely on volunteers. This month, we’re welcoming a small team who will be sowing and planting the raised beds in the Scarecrow Garden and we’ll also have on site horticultural students from BMet College, who will be pruning the shrub roses in the Rose Garden. We always welcome people who have a little time on their hands and want to help out, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’d like to volunteer.


Other big tasks for this month are: improving the drainage to the path in the Fern Garden and pruning the winter border – species such as willow, dogwood, Lonicera, Mahonia, Rubus spp. and cvs. all need a haircut.


Once the grass is dry enough, we’ll start to mow the lawns again. We recommend putting the mower blades fairly high for the first couple of mows and then gradually lowering them as we go towards summer. It’s also a good idea to add some spring/summer grass feed now, to help reduce moss and weeds, and to get the lawn in good shape for the warmer months.


We’ve lots going on the Garden this month – from a Bonsai boot sale on March 15 to a tour of the Bonsai and Japanese Gardens, led by gardener Giulio Veronese, on March 26. Head to our What’s On page to see what you can enjoy.