top of page

Jo's News and Views No 12 December 2023

Hello Everyone 


It has been a difficult year for the garden. However as we have a new head gardener arriving soon I feel positive about 2024. The volunteers have worked tirelessly along side full time gardener, Gary, the new kitchen gardener, Charley and the horticultural assistant, Seema. Also a mention for Kitty, an almost full time kitchen volunteer who toils away in the garden whatever the weather battling with the constant onslaught of weeds. I am sure when Julia starts her new job she will be very pleased to see such a hardworking team ready to assist her. 


I am pleased to say that I have found lots of colour in the garden throughout December so let's get started.


At the beginning of the month I had a meeting with Paul Roper. Paul's office is on the top floor of the house so, with his permission, I was able to take some photos from the windows. As it was quite early the frost was still on the ground. It was just beginning to melt as the sun rose higher in the sky. Photo 1 shows the Front Lawn, photo 2 shows Bowling Green Lawn and photo 3 shows the Pond bathed in sunlight. A wonderful start to the month. 


When I left the house I walked around the garden. The Parrotia persica was still clothed in its autumn colours and was looking beautiful in the sunlight streaming through the trees, photo 4. On Bowling Green Lawn was this lovely bunch of mistletoe in the Amelanchier lamarckii there, photo 5. Walking past the Asylum I stopped to admire the small flowers on the Colletia paradoxa, photo 6. the common name for this shrub is the Anchor plant and looking at the leaves I think you can see why. 


In the Kitchen Garden the Autumn snowdrops and Anemones were flowering in the bed outside the Peach House, photos 7 and 8. Further along I saw these teasels with little seedlings in the seed heads, photo 9. I have seen this before and it happens when there has been a warm wet autumn and the seeds germinate in the dead heads. In the pots at the bottom of the steps leading up to the New River Lawn were these lovely pansies, photo 10. Another splash of colour to lift the spirits of visitors as they passed by. In the Rose Garden I found the last rose of the year, photo11. I thought it was apt to see the three stages of the end of its life at the end of the year. Nearby was this Leycesteria formosa, photo 12, another lovely shade of pink. 


At the far end of the Pond is a group of shrubs and the highlight was this beautiful Mahonia japonica, photo 13. A fabulous bright zingy yellow, worthy of a place in any garden. So a walk around the garden has to include the Pond, photos 14 and 15. Still full of Autumn colour. 


On to my round up of fauna in the garden. As I was there early for my meeting I had much more luck spotting the birds and insects living there. First of all there was a little ladybird seeking shelter in the teasels, photo 16. When I stopped for coffee in the café, I rescued this Peacock butterfly from being trodden on, photo 17. The birds in the garden were for once plentiful. A Robin on the front of the house, photo 18. A Jay under the Holm Oak near the pond, photo19. In the Berberis 'Georgei' were a Blackbird, photo 20 and a Mistle Thrush, photo 21. Under the Yew trees on the New River Lawn was this Great Tit, photo 22. It was one of a flock that were coming and going looking for seeds on the ground. Rushing for cover on Bowling Green lawn was this Moorhen, photo 23. one of a family that has been living around the pond this year. Finally, a little treat for you all. I am fortunate to have a flock of Goldfinches living near me. They love gathering in the trees on the wild flower area at the front of our house, photo 24. Gorgeous little birds. 


So here we are at the end of another year. I hope you have enjoyed this wander around the garden and all the other trips I have made this year. 


I wish you all a very Happy and Healthy New Year and I hope 2024 is a good year for us all. 


Best Wishes 




Recent Posts
Search By Tags
No tags yet.
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square

Here they are again...the ever popular; 'Jills Botanicals 2024'

Monday June 17th till Sunday June 23rd.10am till 4pm daily 

In the Coach House, Cafe Courtyard, MHG.

bottom of page