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Jo's April 2021 News and Views

Hello Everyone

Well, Spring has arrived bringing with it a real mix of weather. The month started with lots of blue sky and sunshine but we have now had cold nights and frosts. Not good for those of us who are itching to get their summer bedding started.

The garden, as always, is coping with everything nature has to throw at it and looks as lovely as ever. The Cedar tree on the front lawn looks magnificent and very imposing but welcoming at the same time, photo 1.

Walking through the Bowling Green Lawn area I'm also impressed by the Amelanchier tree there. Covered in glorious blossom with two very large bunches of mistletoe on the front branches, photo 2. Just behind Tom Tiddler's Ground the Berberis darwinii continues to shine as a beacon of colour in this area, photo 3. Discovered by and named after Charles Darwin in South America in 1835 during the voyage of the 'Beagle'. Nearby was this lovely single stem of Lunaria annua, known as honesty, just catching the sunshine coming through the branches, photo 4.

Moving on to the Peach House the freesias in pots at the door provide a very colourful and pleasing sight, photo 5. The Nectarine and Peach trees are full of blossom so it looks as though another good harvest is on its way, photo 6.

On the other side of the Glasshouses the collection of award winning Dykes Irises are looking very robust and I cannot wait for the flowering season this year, photo 7. Further along the path the wigwams have been planted up with a selcetion of sweet peas, photo 8 and the conference pear trees are almost touching at the top of the arch to create a wonderful tunnel of blossom, photo 9. The blossom is so beautiful and against the blue sky is a picture to behold, photo 10.

Up on the Tulip Terrace it was a pleasure to see tulips again, photos 11 and 12. On the opposite side of the New River Lawn in the Asylum the Acer pseudoplatanus 'Brilliantissimum' really was living up to its name, photo 13. Just behind this area on the edge of the Bamboo Walk was this clump of Epimedium x perralchicum, photo 14, sparkling in the sunshine. Retracing my steps along the New River Lawn I could see the Magnolia at the back of the Pergola Garden still going strong and thought it was worth including again as we'll now have to wait another year before it enchants us with its beauty again, photo 15.

Next Is the Pond. As I mentioned last month the renovations have started and it really is a huge undertaking. Here are a couple of photos showing the progress so far, photos 16 and 17. Still quite a way to go but hopefully my report next month on the progress will be a positive one.

To cheer you up here is the Alpine Meadow which was looking lovely with its mix of scilla and daffodils, photo 18. As I was passing the Old Consevatory I found Bryan working there so was able to take this photo of the beautiful Stelitzia, known as Bird of Paradise, photo 19. These beautiful flowers are guaranteed to make everyone smile! Outside the house was looking splendid in the afternoon sunshine and I was pleased to see that the Rosa banksiae flowers had started to open, photo 20. The rose will go on flowering for quite a while so more photos next month.

Now what do I have lined up for you in the fauna department this month? First of all I found the mallards that live on the pond sulking in the Arboretum, photo 21. I think they want to know when the renovations on their home will be finished! On the Front Lawn were a pair of jackdaws collecting nesting material as they were building a nest in the Black Walnut tree there, photos 22 and 23. On the roof of the old stable in the Courtyard was this white dove, photo 24. Not sure where he had come from but a delightful sight all the same. This blackbird was busy looking for food, photo 25 and this Peacock butterfly was just happy to be lazing around in the sunshine, photo 26.

I hope you have enjoyed this wander through the garden with me.

Best Wishes



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