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Jo's Review of 2013 Part 1

Hello Everyone

We've been fortunate enough to have had two days rain here which I know our gardens needed. I'm sure the sunshine will be back soon but while you're waiting here is my look back at 2013.

We started the year with heavy snow at the end of January, photo 1 (Jan 2013). About 4 inches fell over night and we woke up to a winter wonderland. I think the snowdrops enjoyed it as they were everywhere in the garden, in the Rock Garden, photo 2, (Feb 2013) in the Winter Bed along with some aconites, photo 3, (Feb 2013) and in the Wild Garden, photo 4 (Feb 2013).

On the Front lawn you can see just how big the cedar tree was, photo 5 (Feb 2013) and the small bed on the left looks quite empty. This will, of course, change over the years.

In March 2013 the Fruit Arch was constructed, photo 6. Tom and George, who were students from Capel Manor, are seen here helping Gary and Ruth.

April 2013 was a busy month. On the Wisteria Bridge an ostrich and egg appeared, photo 7. The chickens were moved and the new beech hedges were planted along the path and in front of the Wildlife Area, photo 8. With the chickens safely out of the way, work then began on clearing the area and a tree was removed to open up the view through to the Rock Garden, photo 9. It was a very good year for the Alpine Meadow, photo 10 and also the Rock Garden, photo 11. Perhaps the daffodils had benefitted from all that snow at the beginning of the year. Also, in April, the new beds appeared in the Arboretum, photo 12. This gave interest to the far end to encourage visitors to walk all the way around this area.

In May 2013 the large tree was removed from the wild flower bed next to the cold frames, photo 13. The pond was looking delightful, photo 14 and the view towards the Front Lawn and the Honesty Bed outside the courtyard was amazing, photo 14.

The irises were settling into their new home in front of the Glasshouses and the tanacetum flowered well too, photo 16 (Jun 2013). In the Kitchen garden the bright red opium poppies were establishing themselves, photo 17 (Jun 2013) and the pond looked completely different as all the yellow flag irises were now in flower and the water lilies were appearing, photo 18 (Jun 2013). Another area that looked stunning was Tom Tiddlers border, photo 19 (Jun 2013), the colours here were superb.

The aristolochia macrophylla, known as Dutchman's pipe, was flowering in the Glasshouse, photo 20 (July 2013). All that wonderful sunshine we'd enjoyed was taking it's toll on the grass everywhere so it was good to see the broom tree in full flower taking your attention away from the parched earth, photo 21 (July 2013).

We had another addition to the family, so to speak, as another ostrich appeared on the Wisteria Bridge, photo 22 (Aug 2013). This time with a chick so I guess that answers the question which came first the chicken or the egg lol !! The ostriches were made by Andrew and the HBGB student that year, Ruth. It was a wonderful idea and the ostriches are still with us today.

The Fruit Arch built earlier in the year was now the perfect framework for the runner beans, photo 23 (Sep 2013). I loved this idea. Also, in the Kitchen Garden was the fruit cage being used for sweet corn, photo 24 (Sep 2013). It was used to protect them as the muntjac were very partial to the young shoots.

Another favourite of mine was looking good in it's autumn finery, photo 25 (Nov 2013) The Taxodium distichum, Swamp cypress, was standing out as everything else was still green and not ready to go 'autumn'.

It seems I had a 'thing' about the Pond that year because here we are back there again, photo 26 (Dec 2013). Although I think you'll agree that it is always worth including. You'll notice here that in the month that had passed since the previous photo was taken in November every single leaf had fallen from nearly all of the trees. No?? Take another look!

Hope you have enjoyed this wander through the year with me but there is a little bit more to come because 2013 was the year we celebrated the 400th anniversary of the official opening of the New River. So see you in part two.

Stay safe and keep well.


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