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April’s Garden Update

28th March 2024

We hoped Spring was on the way, but the weather has different ideas! 

We have had one of our wettest March’s which means as soon as there is a break in the weather, the Garden Team rush out to get the jobs done before the next downpour!  There is also still a risk of late frosts in the garden, so we must be careful to keep an eye on our fruit tree blossoms and some of our more tender plants to ensure they don’t get a nasty shock!

However, in between the showers and the cold weather there has been growth across the whole garden, especially in the Spring border which is really coming to life and the peonies are already shooting up getting ready for their display in June. The tulip border is also starting to bloom as are the species tulips in the borders and our flowering cherry plums – Prunus cerasifera ‘Pissardii’ bordering the Tapestry Garden are bringing some welcome blossom to the garden.  The Narcissi and spring bulbs in pots are in flower and the smell of Hyacinth in the air is lovely when walking down the Spring Border on a mild morning. Another exciting addition to the Garden that is coming to life is our Willow Igloo and Tunnel which we hope our younger visitors will enjoy when they visit. You may remember back in our previous blog that we planted this on one of the coldest days of the year back in January! It is so lovely and rewarding to see our hard work on that bitterly cold day is paying off. 

Our seed sowing under cover along with pricking of seedlings is in full swing, and we are rapidly running out of space in the Glasshouses for all the seedlings that we are nurturing!  Plants that need a longer growing season to do well such as our chillies and tomatoes are coming along in the Glasshouses and just when it feels as if we have only just harvested the Winter vegetables such as celeriac and leeks, it is time to sow them again under cover!

We have spent the month getting our seed beds outside ready to allow us to start sowing, when it’s not too wet, such as hardy annuals, vegetables and our wildflowers in April. We can start sowing hardy annuals in the cutting garden beds and later in the month, our carrots and peas will start to be sown as well as our potatoes and onion sets. 

The Pelargoniums in the Glasshouses are thriving and the more exotic plants such as Brunsfelsia pauciflora and Barlottina sordida are blooming.  We are all very excited to be hosting our first after hours Specialist Glasshouse Tour on April 19th.  We in the garden team already know how much we benefit from learning and working with our Head Gardener – Simon McManus – the knowledge he is passionate about passing on to us is invaluable. His skills, expertise and experience of working with plants under glass is second to none especially with plants such as Cacti and Fuchsia, so we strongly advise anyone with an interest in learning about how we cultivate and look after our Glasshouse specimens to grab a ticket.  There are still a few left but you’ll need to be quick!

Hope to meet you there and welcome you to the Gardens in April!