Tuesday, 31 July 2012

National Garden Scheme Day 15/07/12

NGS Day July 2012.
NGS day was a dry day this year and we had about 120 visitors and raised a good amount of money for the NGS. Volunteers and staff worked hard manning the front desk, serving tea and cake, chatting to visitors while gardening, doing garden tours and selling plants and produce and gardening. The bee keeper, Michael Green, came in with the observation hive and talked about bee keeping and sold Chastleton honey. Jean did a wonderful job making and selling cakes. All in all a successful day.
Thanks to all those involved.

Jane picking black currants.

Jane and Julie at the plant and produce stall.

Strawberries from the garden for sale.

Pat manning her plant stall.

Michael our bee keeper with the observation hive.

George and Hazel at the front gate.

Alex and Mary cutting Box topiaries.

The croquet team playing croquet.

John and Jane discussing fruit.

Anna giving garden tours.

Chastleton Garden in July 2012

Chastleton Garden in July 2012.

A very busy month for us in the garden this month. The month started with monsoon like rains in the early part of the month, which made the weeds and the grass grow at a most enormous pace in the temperate climes. The poor roses and blooms around the garden were completely battered and some of the rose buds were even rotting on the the bush before they had a chance to come out. Blackspot and blight have not been good on the roses and quince trees this year too.
Myself and the volunteer team have worked hard to keep on top of the weeds in the red clover green manures in The Kitchen Garden and around the garden and this is an ongoing project. As the jet stream changed course towards the end of the month we finally saw the sun and had weather we were more used to seeing in July. The roses and other flowers perked up and the tomatoes and chillies put on a spurt of growth in the green house with the increase in sunlight.
This month we have also had the start of the restoration and conservation project in The West Garden, NGS day, Midsummer Garden Tours and Jazz in The Garden.

The poor roses on The Rose Terrace after being battered by heavy rain day after day at the beginning of July. We were busy dead heading.

However, the poppies in The Stableyard were looking good - having coped with the weather better than the roses.

The fruit and vegetables have done well though and we have been busy harvesting strawberries, black currants, cabbages, calabese, gooseberries, potatoes, carrots, beetroot, lettuce, fennel and peaches and selling them on our produce and plant stall. We have also been selling plants to visitors.

Vegetables and flowers in The Kitchen Garden.

Fennel in The Kitchen Garden

Strawberries in The Kitchen Garden

Onions in The Kitchen Garden.

Green manure (Red Clover) in the four new beds in The Kitchen Garden.

Other jobs we have been busy working on this month are:
-dead heading
-treatment of fairy rings on croquet lawn
-catching moles
-foliar feed for roses
-summer clearing and weeding of Wilderness
-hedge cutting
-topiary clipping
-pruning shrubs and Wisteria
-garden tours and visitor engagement
-plant and produce sales
-cutting back ivy
-putting new fencing up in The Wilderness
-feeding tomatoes and chillies in the green house
-summer pruning fruit trees and tying in
-work on The West Garden project
-care of wormery
-tour for local children's gardening club
-seed sowing in Kitchen Garden of root crops

Caroline helping on the plant and produce stall.

Victor doing croquet engagement with visitors.
As ever a big thank you to all the volunteers and visitors who have made it another industrious and lovely month in the garden. Thank you, Anna.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

June at Chastleton 2012

June has been a varied month. We have seen an extraordinary amount of rain and stormy weather - but we have battled on doing a lot of tying up and dead heading of the roses, climbers and fruit trees. The poor blooms are feeling a bit battered and the weeds and grass are growing apace with the warm, wet weather. The garden is looking green and luxious and the volunteers and I have been working hard to keep the garden looking good and moving on with the Garden Conservation Management Plan.

John and I pruned and tied in the old pear tree in The Stable Yard.

John planted the new Apricot tree in The Kitchen Garden.

John and I planted the new Black Mulberry tree in The Best Garden.

We have all been working hard to weed the green manure crop in the 4 new beds in The Kitchen Garden. The Red Clover will be mowed after flowering and then ploughed in to the ground later in the year. Sorrel (our intern for the summer) has been doing great work helping run the plant and produce stall. Other work done in the garden this month include:
-clipping the topiary
-spraying paths for weeds
-sowing grass seed
-planning the water harvesting project for next year
-dead heading
-pruning fruit trees, climbers and herbaceous planting
-picking fruit and veg
-planting up the rockeries on the north terrace and in The Forecourt
-selling Chastleton honey
-tree surgery work on trees in the garden and the estate
-stump grinding old stumps in West Garden
-tours of the garden
-clearing and tidying The Wilderness
-potting on seedlings in the green house
-watering and feeding tomatoes and peppers in green house.
We have National Garden Scheme Day (NGS) on Sunday 15th July 2pm-6pm and there is a Midsummer evening garden tour with Anna on 27th July 6.30pm-8pm.
Thanks again to all the volunteer help in the garden.