What a sunny warm week it has been, you can almost watch the narcissus and tulips unfolding into flower as they enjoy longer hours of daylight. The hellebores too have been gently nodding their heads for one and all to enjoy, it really does lift your spirits after what seemed like a long winter.
It has been great to welcome back the volunteers this week after the winter shutdown. The sun has shone everyday for them showing off their hard work, which we are all very grateful for. Dean, our Garden Manager, gave them all a tour to keep them informed with the developments in the garden as the work on the Learning Centre started, and an up-date of the Alpine Area, which is due to open early May, with the first of many little alpine gems flourishing in the new display house.
Gardens West have been busy finishing the mulching on the main borders just in time for the Head Gardeners day which we hosted here at the garden on Thursday, which was very successful, they were very complimentary about the garden. We have had several comments from our visitors about the mulch as it smells so good, composted pine bark is the magic ingredient, and the pine residue draws everyone to it! Kath and I managed to mulch our island bed which has been our project. We have now incorporated the seating made of log rounds sunk into the soil, which add to the rustic affect which looks fantastic. We were delighted to hear it had already been put to the test by a family having a picnic, enjoying the amazing views of garden; so a great success
Our trainees have also been busy with spring pruning and grafting master-classes. The grafting master-class was certainly a challenge for us all, as it requires a lot of practice, but credit to all who attended as they did a great job and were experts by the end of the afternoon!
Perfection has been added to Gardens West turf sofa, with the planting of harebells into the back of the seat, which will be a haze of blue during the summer months as they mature. The easiest way we have found to create our ornamental mini meadow has been to grow the plants as plugs. By doing this the plants are able to establish quicker and there is less disturbance to the plants when planting out.
Long may the warm spring days continue for you in your own garden or by visiting us here at Harlow Carr.
Tom White - Gardens West