This winter has seen extensive works undertaken in the Garden. In particular we have taken the decision to revisit the plantings along the Broadwalk, partially in response to examining the initial planting plans and in part due to the fact that many of the freely seeding species have migrated from bed to bed dramatically reducing the original concept of a graded colour wash from hot colours to pastel shades as you walked the length of the borders.
This is not a quick fix approach and a great deal of forward planning has gone in to this. The beds most weed infested and altered from the original planting plans have been targeted first. This has also given us the opportunity to ameliorate the soil with the addition of compost and manure to improve the structure and promote healthy growth when we come to replant in the autumn. During this year the opportunity is going to be taken to eradicate as much of the weed problem as possible and after planting we now have a ready-made supply of mulch from arisings from our woodland maintenance programme that can be utilised to assist in keeping the beds weed free. This will be a rolling programme that is likely to take 4 to 5 seasons to complete.
Another long overdue task that is also being undertaken is the redefining of the Bog Garden; a huge amount of Equisetum (Horsetail) and Carex have invaded and are gradually reducing the display of ornamental plants. The bog has been dredged and the banks re-graded and one third of the garden has been stripped of plants so that a full year of cleaning up can be done prior to replanting. This like the Broadwalk beds will be an ongoing process over several years.
The staff has been working extremely hard in trying conditions but is making headway. Much pleasure will be had when all the planting can be done into refreshed and weeded beds. Follow progress as all this much needed work continues.
In my next blog I want to take a look at the numerous grant funded schemes that are making it possible to undertake some radical new work that will set the scene for years to come. As we advanced into the second decade of our existence the future is looking very promising.