Wednesday, 12 December 2012

November and December 2012

November and December has seen us bracing ourselves against further rain and wind and now we have definitely got to colder climes with impressive haw frosts and even some snow and ice.
We have been tackling a variety of jobs:
We have worked to cut back, sort and weed the herbaceous perennial borders around the garden. We do leave a few plants over the winter for seed for birds and for frost foliage effect. However, the majority of the borders are cut back and sorted for the winter and readiness for mulching with manure or garden/ mushroom compost. Due to the rambling nature of the borders it is important they have a good weed and sort out at the end of the season.

Here in the Kitchen Garden you can see where we cut back some herbaceous perennial border plants and have left others.

Leaf clearance is an ongoing project in the garden over the autumn and winter months. My volunteers and I have spent many hours out with the leaf blower clearing fallen leave and putting them on the leaf compost pile to rot down as leaf litter for re-use in the garden.

We have busily composted - these photos show this years cuttings and then below the lovely compost they turn into over a period of months.

Some of the leaves have looked beautiful - both on the ground and on the trees, as seen in these two photos of the Acer griseum and the ancient beech trees.

The peach tree cover was put up in Nov to protect the tree from rain that can carry and distribute the peach leaf curl disease. Alex, John and Roger S did a wonderful job putting up the structure and also doing some running repairs a week later after very strong winds caught under some of the sheeting.

Here is some of the turfing work that has gone on all around the garden. There were considerable repairs to be done after the lawns suffered from footfall from visitors on water-logged lawns. There was also turfing done in The West Garden as part of the development project in that area of the garden.

Snow and ice and frost have arrived and leading up to the shortest day on 21st Dec winter has started stretching out her cold fingers.
Other jobs worked on this month-
-Drawning up Kitchen Garden plans and designs,
-Tree survey and Ash tree survey in light of Ash Die Back Disease.
-Clearing and mulching borders,
-re-gravelling paths,
-leaf collecting
-ordering seeds and plants for the garden for next year,
-preparing the border for new apple cordons,
-ordering and collecting new apple cordons,
-tidying and clearing up the plant and produce stall,
-hedge cutting,
-sorting and turning compost bins,
-pruning shrubs,
-propagating strawberry runners,
-cutting back ivy,
-inducting new volunteers,
-pruning vines,
-collected plants from Hanbury Hall,
-machinery maintenance,
-wormery care,
-care of house plant collection

This is a pic of me - well wrapped up and covered in mud while looking at sorting and pruning in The Forecourt.
I would like to welcome two new volunteers Laura Evans who is working on the house plant collection with Patty and in the garden and Roger Gray who is working as a gardener and handyman.
I would like to say a massive thank you to all staff, volunteers and supporters who have help with Chastleton Garden this year and wish everyone a Happy Christmas and New Year.