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Jo's News and Views No3 March 2022

Hello Everyone

I really thought Spring had arrived as we have enjoyed some lovely weather through March but the snow flurries, cold winds and rain that arrived this week have reminded us just how contrary the British weather can be! It is certainly keeping us on our toes and probably laughing at us because we had hoped that we could put our winter woollies away!

Well, I will remind you of just how lovely March has been with my selection of photos this month. The first one is the beautiful Cornus mas on the front drive. A splendid tree that has a cloud of yellow flowers covering it, photo 1. Also, here in the Arboretum the daffodils have continued to flower all month, photo 2. Elsewhere around the garden there have been flowers in abundance too. The snowdrops continued to delight us, photos 3 and 4. The hellebores seemed to be in every colour but this one is a particular favourite of mine, photo 5. Another favourite is the primrose. These delicate looking flowers are quite tough and will withstand everything nature throws at them, photo 6.

In the Hollow Lawn area the border there has been filled with colour. The Ribes shrub or Flowering currant has the most delightful flowers that cover it throughout Spring, photo 7. Further along is this beautiful Chaenomeles japonica. It has been trained against the wall and this position suits it. The bright orange-red flowers appear along its bare thorny stems for weeks until the leaves start opening, photo 8. Also here is this delightful Magnolia stellata, photo 9.

Moving on to the Peach House I stopped to enjoy the blossoms on the peach and nectarines trees that have been trained along the wall and the front windows, photo 10. Always a wonderful sight in Spring. Outside in the bed running along the front of the Peach House was this wonderful display of anemones, photo 11. They seem to have been flowering since Christmas and I did not realise how hardy they were. Perhaps this is something I will add to my own garden. Next are the Cold Frames and the National Collection of Bowles related Crocus Cultivars, photo 12. Liz Macnicol has been the custodian of the crocuses for some years now and is doing a fantastic job. This year she has replaced the perspex with mesh so that the crocuses could benefit from more natural weather conditions and as you can see they have done really well this year. Up on the pillars behind the cold frames are the copper Agaves which have now faded to that beautiful blue-green colour that is Verdigris, photo 13.

Leaving the Kitchen Garden I walked back to the beds in the centre of the garden. Beside the pathway between the Bamboo Walk and the Wild Garden is another splendid Cornus mas, photo 14. It is partially hidden by other trees and shrubs so it really does look as though the cloud of yellow flowers are just floating in the air.

Along the path is the Rose Garden. A lot of work has been carried out in this area. Heritage roses that are resistant to disease have been chosen to fill the beds here so I am looking forward to bringing you photos of them in bloom this summer. The Market Cross looked lovely in the sunshine with the rhododendrons and magnolia in the background, photo 15.

The walk down to the Rock Garden is always a pleasure. The whole area is filled with daffodils, photo 16. Waiting to greet me was the Magnolia stellata pictured here on 8th March with just one or two flowers open, photo 17. Then on 21st March all the flowers were fully opened, photo 18. Richard has been busy in this area too. He has added several acers and other shrubs with a Japanese connection to give this area a Japanese feel to it. Unfortunately not everyone appreciates his hard work. Vandals have wrecked the Torii seat and have punctured the lining in the pond there, photos 19 and 20. Repairs will be made but it is so sad to see this wonderful Heritage Garden treated in this way. There is still beauty to be found here as the scilla is now covering the mounds, photo 21 and on top of one of the mounds was this lovely group of white narcissi dancing in the breeze, photo 22. Also here under an old Acer tree is a clump of Lathraea clandestina, photo 23. This will spread out and flower for quite a long time.

Leaving the garden I stopped to admire the letters that have been placed in one of the beds in front of the house, photo 24. They will be planted up with succulents and small bedding plants for a colourful display this summer.

Finally my fauna offering this month. If I hadn't seen it fluttering by I would not have noticed this Brimstone butterfly, photo 25. It settled amongst the fading daffodils and blended in very well. Another butterfly making the most of the sunshine was this beautiful Small Tortoiseshell, photo 26. Also keeping busy was this delightful Long tailed Tit, photos 27 and 28. They rarely keep still so I was pleased to have managed to take a couple of photos of it.

Well, I hope you have enjoyed this wander around the garden with me.

Best Wishes



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