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Jo's review of 2014 Part 1

Hello Everyone

Hope you're all well and staying safe. Here are the highlights of 2014 to distract you for a while this week.

In January 2014, the large tree in the bed at the front of the house was removed. It was completely blocking the view and over shadowing the small acer and the Indian bean tree, photo 1. The view through the gap is now enjoyed by all and both trees have benefited from the increased light and moisture.

It was a good year for all the spring flowers. In the Asylum the snowdrops were looking lovely showing up well against the green moss on all the rocks there, photo 2 (Jan 2014). On the New River Lawn the snowdrops were joined by the hellebores creating a beautiful display, photo 3 (Feb 2014). Whilst down in the Rock Garden the snowdrops were accompanied by daffodils, completely covering every inch of ground there, photo 4 (Feb 2014). Walking back from the Rock Garden I took this photo of the back of the house. A view you can't see anymore because a hedge and fence has been erected around the new Spurs training ground, photo 5 (Feb 2014).

In April 2014 the new compost bins were up and running in the Kitchen Garden and a new beech hedge had been planted to screen it from view, photo 6. Also in the Kitchen Garden the Prunus laurocerasus, known as Curly leaved laurel or Cherry laurel, was looking fabulous, especially against the blue sky, photo 7. Also looking good was the Paeonia suffruticosa 'Shugyoku Den' next to the Wisteria Bridge, photo 8 (Apr 2014). The lantern, just behind it, was given to Mr Bowles as a gift for his 75th birthday from his friends and neighbours. They all made a donation of 'up to a shilling'. The cost was £25 equivalent of £1790 today. It was broken at some time and was discovered by Bryan in December 1992. Despite its significance to the garden it remained unrepaired until the Bowles Society funded the restoration in 2013. It was formally unveil by Dr Jill Raggett, who was giving a lecture to the Bowles Society on Japanese Gardens, on 15th February 2014.

At the end of April a plaque, commemorating the fact that Mr Bowles ashes had been scattered in the Rock Garden, was unveiled by Brigadier Andrew Parker Bowles, photos 9 and 10.

Moving onto May 2014, one of my favourite months in the garden. The pathway through the Bamboo bed had been lined by logs, photo 11. The rhododendrons on the front lawn looked wonderful, photo 12. Nature had taken over in the wildlife area and it looked as though it had always been there, photo 13. Whilst at the end of the New River Lawn the wisteria was in full bloom, photo 14. The bridge and water display also looked as though it had always been there, photo 15. The display of poppies in front of the Peach House was beautiful that year, photo 16. Finally, no selection of photos from May would be complete without the Iris collection. It looked absolutely amazing, photo 17.

The young Paulownia fortunei, the foxglove tree, planted the previous year to compliment the large tree at the other end of the Tulip Terrace was doing well, photo 18 (Jun 2014).

In August it is always time to cut the Teucrium lucidrys. The small germander was planted to form a low hedge around the beds in place of the box that had succumbed to the box blight. Gary did, and still does, a splendid job cutting the ''miles'' of teucrium around the garden, photo 19 (Aug 2014).

The Acer palmatum in the Wild Garden was looking at its Autumn best, photo 20 (Sep 2014). Then on 4th November 2014 artist blacksmith, Toby Winterburn, installed five metal agave sculptures above the trellis in the Kitchen garden, photo 21. These were funded by the Bowles Society and provide permanent interest where it would be impossible to maintain year round live plantings in such exposed and inaccessible containers.

Finally in December 2014 it was a case of new beginnings. The new paths had been laid in the Rock Garden making it safer for everyone to walk around this area, photo 22. The metal edging, that had been added to the beds on the Tulip Terrace in April 2014, was surrounded by new paths to complete the transformation, photo 23. Then the Conference pear trees were planted in the fruit arch, photo 24. A donation made in 2015 made it possible to plant more trees to finish it completely.

So there is your little trip down memory lane for 2014, but wait is there more?? Yes, of course there is!

See you in part two ......

Stay safe and keep well


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