Well, with a little bit of sunshine the garden is a different place. It has been buzzing with visitors, coming out to enjoy the warm rays, just like the crocuses that open up with bright light and the winter stems that look amazing in the sunlight.
It strikes me that we've got it all right now. The cold weather has delayed things a bit, and now we have snowdrops, winter aconites, crocuses (don't miss the back of the Walled Garden/Pines slope and the back of the Bowes-Lyon Pavilion), hellebores, iris (reticulata types), pulmonarias and plenty of Cyclamen coum carpeting the woodland and grassland floor all over the garden. Additionally, the shrubs have held back a bit, and the witch hazels, Edgworthia, daphnes, and winter flowering viburnums are still performing beautifully. The Cornus officianalis on Battleston Hill is about to burst forth into a frothy yellow mass, and the sarcococcas are still releasing their perfume. We'd usually not get all of these at the same time, so the garden is absolutely supreme.
Camellia x williamsii cultivars such as 'Donation', 'Sea Foam' and 'Cheapside' are looking glorious on Battleston Hill this week, perfectly timed to coincide with the Early Camellia Dispaly and RHS Competition in the Plant Centre on Friday 5th.
In the Model Vegetable Garden, Mario has been changing things around a bit. With the help of Sigrid, the Fruit Single Option Certificate trainee, a new design has been drawn up for the potager to include more fruit into the area. Sigrid hopes to keep us up to date with a blog of her own about this, so keep a look out for that in the forthcoming weeks. Mario has plans for the patio area too, starting off with a containerised olive tree that he's rescued and rejuvenated. This ties in nicely with the Grow Your Own weekend that we're preparing for on 6-7th March.
Meantime, things are cracking on with speed and gusto in the garden. In the Walled Garden, Wesley has been pruning back the yew hedge, and the trainees have been tidying up the Monocot Borders. And on Weather Hill the new Bowes-Lyon Rose Garden development is making excellent progress.
See you soon, especially as we're now on our summer opening times (Garden open until 6pm) and let's hope we've said goodbye to winter!