“I enjoy the spring more than the autumn now. One does, I think, as one gets older.” Virginia Woolf, Jacob’s Room
Not long now to the official start of spring but it looks as though it was well underway some time ago here at The Grove, and we have had good swathes of yellow around the gardens since December. Read more
Get past the shortest day of the year and somehow the atmosphere changes and the birds start to sing as the daylight stretches out little by little each day. This winter has been an unusual one weather-wise. We had the warmest November on record and then the warmest December. Before Christmas it seemed as though it rained on a daily basis and everywhere was extremely soggy. After Christmas it started to dry out and recently we had a taste of bitter cold and some snow for a day. Today it is back to rain and the forecast is reaching 14C over the coming weekend. Very strange.
This is the time when we see spring fading and summer taking over as the days draw out and the
long sunny days bring lots of colour and the start of the abundant harvest of vegetables and fruit.
The spring display of 39000 bulbs was memorable and although some came out early and others late
it has been a good splash of colour.
In the south of England we have been enjoying a warm week and now it feels like we are in summer. The weather forecasters have told us that the weather should be warmer than normal for the next month at least.
With the sunrise the birds are singing their hearts out and seem to be chirping for most of the day. Then there’s the tap-tap-tap of the woodpeckers in Heath Wood and in the early morning and again in the evenings the occasional sound of an owl.
Daffodils are in flower and there are signs of swelling buds and shoots appearing out of the soil in the garden. The lawns are also starting to grow – very slowly but there is definitely more grass there. And as we move out of the dark month of February and into March with its longer days there is the sense of a new season and light and warmth! The preparation of the beds for the new season is done and the tasks of sowing, planting, growing and maintaining is about to start.
Another year passes and another begins; a time for reflection on the past year and a time of looking forward to the new seasons in my winter gardens blog.
In early November 43,180 bulbs arrived for our 2015 display. Having that many bulbs in front of you is daunting, but our Gardeners potted and planted a whopping 42,000 of them by Christmas. Now, if all goes to plan, which is very weather dependent, the first will start to bloom in February and the last will be flowering in June. Time (and weather!) will tell…
There is a rumour that at this time of year most gardeners sit in front of a roaring fire, drinking warming soup looking at seed and plant catalogues, in a sort of warm and cosy hibernation. If only that were true!
It is in fact the time of the year when the seed and plant catalogues come through the letter box and the choosing of plants for the following season is put onto paper, or spreadsheet! We take photographs of the borders through the summer to remind us of what grew well and what did not and more importantly where there are gaps that we need to fill. And also in the vegetable garden in the Walled Garden – which vegetables the chefs loved and which did not go down so well. We are of course eager to see what new varieties there are to try for next year…
Each time I enter The Grove and catch sight of the mansion on top of the hill across the valley – I still get a real buzz. Everything from the meadows that sweep gently down the hill towards the Grand Union Canal to the manicured Golf Course and the Reception entrance – it is all very grand and beautiful. And then there are the gardens… Read more