Catch up on the latest news from around the Estate with our resident gardener...
Well then, 2016 is upon us and while there is a frantic activity in other parts of the Heights, work on the estate continues its measured pace. Leaving the engineers to toil with their new-fangled gear (with much a beeping and a peeping). The Rangers have spent their time putting the borders and hedges in good order (with much coppicing and a snedding). Many a hundred thousand Beech leaves have been scraped up and removed to let the Daffs come through unhindered.
On which subject, being somewhat tardy contacting the bulb merchants in the autumn meant that some of my old favourites are out of stick! That being the case, a keen eye will be kept on the new varietys planted in their stead, Holland Chase, St Keverne and Camelot are the new boys, be interested to see how they shape up.
It being a mildish winter (so far) in some places that catch the sun, some of the established Daffs are moving apace. Shouldn’t be surprised if we have some in flower for Half Term. The Witch Hazel and Mahonias are in full flower now and are likely to have gone over before we get a visitor, which is a shame.
As there’s nowt much else to report and seeing as how log burners seem to be in every other house these days, I thought I might pass on some wood lore as might be useful. A rhyme I had off an old forester helps it stick.
Oak logs will warm you well
That are old and dry
Logs of Pine will sweetly smell
(but the sparks will fly)
Beech logs for wintertime
Yew logs as well sir
Green Elder logs it is a crime
For any man to sell sir.
Ah, ‘appen that’s enough for now, till next time then, all t’best for new year!
The T’Owd Gardener
The season of mists and mellow fruitfulness has arrived at the Heights of Abraham. Though September had the hottest days of the year this time around! Lack of any frost and the warm conditions have meant that though past their best, the hanging baskets and tubs have kept some colour into October. This season has been a particularly fruitful one for the horse chestnut and beach around the site and for squirrels and wood pigeons are busy reaping the abundance of nuts. Mixed flocks of finches and titmice are coming to the bird feeders in great numbers to fatten up and robins and black caps can be heard among the brambles.
Visitors might still be able to spot some bracket fungus adorning old tree stumps of which there have been some splendid examples of this year.
The year has seemed to speed by again and once more thoughts turn to the planting of daffodils and the return of spring. Mind you, there’s a lot of gardening to do between now and then!
The T’Owd Gardener.