Monday, 11 March 2013

February 2013

February in the garden saw a whole mix of jobs and weather. In bitterly cold weather and sometimes snow we were spreading gravel, cutting back ivy and building leaf litter bins- as just some of the tasks. The weather ranged from wet, windy, cold and frosty to the occassional winter sun day.

The property was blanketed in snow once again at the beginning of the month.

We ran our fisrt ever snowdrop open days for the public on 14th, 15th and 16th Feb with lots of enthusiastic visitors. Seb and Dawn from the staff are pictured here with the snowdrops.
The snowdrops are later in flowering this year and have put on a fabulous display well in to March. We had BBC 1 Oxford regional news in to do a peice on the weather and spring flowers in the garden on Friday 15th Feb.
Visitors enjoyed garden tours and the array of different species and varieties of snowdrops in the garden.

The volunteers all helped out with welcoming visitors, preparing the garden and handing out our spring flower hunt to those looking at the garden.
Other early spring flowers brought colour to the garden, including winter aconites and Cyclamen coum.

Jean and Sallie did a wonderful job making cakes to sell to vistors alongside hot drinks.

Elsewhere Katy and Ella worked hard with their mum harvesting hazel to use as supports for fruit, veg and flowers in the garden. They also helped cut back some of the ivy on the walls in the garden and weeded.

We have run a small trial on tackling the weeds in The Kitchen Garden: we have covered one area, hand weeded some areas and sprayed off other areas with a weed killer.

We have also had contractors in to do hard landscaping and path repairs. A lot of work has been done to improve drainage on the property.
My team worked really hard moving leaf litter compost and building a new holding area. Thanks all.
Other jobs done during the month included:
-planning engagement activities in the garden
-insulating the greenhouse and setting up the heating and heated bench systems
-clearing and tidying in The Wilderness and car park
-tour guide training
-pruning wisteria and roses
-interviewing and recruiting a part-time seasonal garden assistant
-inducting and recruiting new volunteers
-ivy pruning
-seed sowing
-gravel spreading
-NT spring flower count
-knocking snow off topiaries and shrubs
-preparing new Kitchen beds
-garden tours
-sweeping and weeding steps
-planning projects
-arranging a rail for steps in The Best Garden and 3 new benches
-chitting potatoes
-mulching borders
-spraying weeds