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Jo's July News and Views

Hello Everyone

Well, it's good to be back but I'm not sure for how long. The garden has reopened to staff, volunteers and members through appointment only. The news and advice being issued by the Government daily seems to be confusing to say the least but Richard is planning on reopening the garden to the public from the 10th August. This will be by prior booking only through the LVRPA website. All I can hope for is that you are all safe and well. Please continue to take precautions and stay safe.

So if you are in need of a 'pick me up' then I have just the tonic for you. I have visited the garden a couple of times through July and I'm so pleased to see it looking so beautiful. I think the word that describes it best is 'lush' as everything has grown so much and many of the gaps have been filled in completely. Yes, there is a lot of work to do but Richard has only had two gardeners working with two furloughed and no volunteers were allowed on site so all things considered I think he has done a fantastic job in keeping things ticking over and up together. So let me stop waffling and show you the sights and delights of Myddelton.

First of all is the car park. Well, we all start there when we visit so why not. Very strange to see it completely empty but as the House is closed too there are no other staff on site either, photo 1. The welcome from the Front Lawn is always special, photo 2 and it never disappoints, does it? On the other side of the drive is the Arboretum, photo 3 which was taken on 8th July and photo 4 which was taken on 28th July after Gary had whisked his way round on the mower!

Moving on to Tom Tiddlers Ground, photo 5. Richard has been working on one of the beds to make it more of a 'silver' area, photo 6. He has cleared the undergrowth so more light can shine through and has added many new plants including Pittosporum 'Silver Queen', Stachys byzantina and Artemisia absinthium which given time will fill this area and achieve the silver look that Mr Bowles planned. Also, on the edge of this bed is the fabulous Catalpa bignonioides 'Aurea', the Golden Indian Bean tree, photo 7.

Following the path through to the Kitchen Garden I stopped to admire the planting along the West Facing Wall, photo 8 which was taken on 8th July. The fruit trees have established themselves well and this year Steph has planted Ipomoea lobata, known as Spanish flag because of it's stunning colours on the dogwood supports, photo 9 which was taken on 28th July. Photo 10 is the Kitchen Garden from the Tulip Terrace. The Bean Arch has been planted up with 5 different beans this year Phaseolus coccineus, Cherokee Trail of Tears, Blauhide, Czar and Greek Gigantes, photo 11. In one of the beds, Steph has planted an area of nectar rich plants to encourage pollinators to visit and stay in the Kitchen Garden, photo 12. Then opposite this are the globe artichokes and rhubarb, photo 13. The flowers on the Cynara cardunculus, known as Globe artichoke or Cardoon are amazing, photo 14. Further along the path is the Cut Flower Bed, photo 15, the Annuals Bed, photo 16 and the sunflowers, photo 17. All are guaranteed to make you smile.

So then I retraced my steps back to the New River Lawn. In the bed in front of the Lunatic Asylum is this group of Conium maculatum, known as Hemlock. I know it's extremely poisonous but I can't help but love it for it's architectural structure! There are some hydrangeas panniculta and dahlias planted in front of them too, photo 18. Next I wandered into the Wild Garden, photo 19. I usually show this in Autumn but try to look in on it at other times of the year too. It was looking very pretty. Back on the lawn I headed towards the Tulip Terrace which is looking lovely, photo 20. The dark leaved dahlias are from the 'Bishop' range and have a selection of yuccas and banana plants as centre pieces. The young Ilex crenata planted last year is looking very healthy and adds a fresh green edge to complement the planting, photo 21. Next are the beds in front of the Rose Garden. You can see signs that the volunteers are back in the garden doing the weeding, photo 22. The combination planting along here is beautiful, photos 23 and 24. Then last but not least along this stretch of the lawn was this delightful Lunaria, known as Honesty, photo 25. I'm more familiar with the white seed pods so was very taken with this pink version.

Now it's time for the Pond. Here is the Pond Terrace, photo 26. The Cornus kousa was really standing out amongst the sea of green surrounding it, photo 27 and moving around to the other end of the pond the view is different again, photo 28.

Just time for a little of the fauna in the garden this month. It has been a really good year for butterflies and there were many to be seen in the garden. First we have a Gatekeeper, photo 29, then a Speckled Wood, photo 30 and finally a Green Veined White, photo 31.

So there you have it. Our first wander around the gadren for some months. I think you'll agree that it is looking lovely and I will bring you more news and views next month.

Take care and stay safe

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