January Blues

The beginning of January has been busy. The garden lost some trees during the recent stormy weather and like ants we cut and cleared away the worst damage with help from the rangers and their time saving machinery.

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Digging out the stump of the Arbutus unedo

Delos was the worst hit. The Strawberry tree (Arbutus unedo) in the centre of the largest bed was uprooted and the Black Mulberry (Morus nigra), prone to damage, because of its brittle wood was no longer stable.

Winter Aconites

Winter Aconites

Chainsaws and a mini digger helped make light work of the clear up operation, so leaf clearing, weeding and cutting down could commence, ready for the imminent arrival of Winter Aconites (Eranthis hyemalis) and other emerging spring delights. (Indeed, some aconites are already flowering.)

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The mini digger had to navigate narrow paths. Peter, the ranger shows his skills.

The resulting void created by their loss, has changed the existing space, as you might imagine, but also creates new possibilities for future planting of trees, shrubs and so on.

In the waterlogged Orchard, an old apple has toppled, but while the ground is still so saturated, we will have to leave it for a rainy day.

Looking on the bright side, Lime Walk is now ready for spring! It too needed to be cleared of leaves and the Hornbeam hedge had its secondary growth, produced after the initial summer hedge trim removed to create a smart backdrop for the amazing bulb display in March and April.

This week we have begun to clear the Nuttery. This too must be finished before the spring plants get going. We are storming through, just like the plants, in this mild weather. Already, the green shoots of the White bells (Hyacinthoides non-scripta alba) have grown a few inches above ground level, which is unusual to see in January.

Let’s hope the weather continues to be kind.

Jo (gardener)