Join me here regularly to catch up on my #GARDENINGWAYS Journal! I spend much of my time gardening professionally for Rachel de Thame at Broadwell, in Gloucestershire, but my journal updates aim to take in not only this role but other horticultural highlights too.
Well I’m back for my second garden journal entry, and starting with my six on Saturday, the above cluster of images pretty much details the key achievements during my third week at Broadwell.
As we all know, gardens need regular care and attention, but following something of a gap in garden help during late summer and autumn, my ‘settling-in’ period has largely been divided between border preparation for bulb planting, and in collecting up large quantities of leaf litter from lawn areas.
This has made for challenging days, especially with the weather moving from rain to frost and back to rain again. However, between the showers there been some absolutely breathtaking moments in the garden. I’ve tried hard to capture this in photographs this week, and in the image above, low winter sunlight pushes through the morning mist and into the orchard.
‘The Bothy’ image, which takes in the walled garden ahead of restoration, is for me a small record of things before the changes begin. It is also a record showing the extent of shade and sitting frost in December; in this 9am image the shade covers two thirds of the walled garden width – one to remember when planning the beds…
Now, onto those bulbs. After some border clearance, this image is a momentary down-tools moment whilst catching my breath. During planting birds shrieked from nearby woodland, a pilot practised aerobatics in the clear blue skies above, and my newly acquired Hori Hori trowel (purchased after much thought and consideration!) created perfectly sized planting pockets for each bulb.
Following partial clearance of another border, laying out the bulbs was in progress, under the careful gaze of the resident Head of Gardens Woodapuss, who checked and signed off all varieties!
Yes, I dislike leaf blowers as much as the next person, noisy smelly things that they are, but when you’ve a sizeable area to clear, they’re an invaluable tool in the gardener’s armoury. I’m busy here collecting the leaf litter which was added to a large and growing leaf mould stack – recycling in action.
Having not been around long enough to really know this border, this weeding and tidying process was something of a voyage of discovery. It was essentially required to facilitate further bulb planting, and has served as a good learning opportunity as I worked, fork by fork, around each perennial. Another four barrow loads of weeds for the long compost stack!
All-in-all, an enjoyable and productive gardening week, and a good way towards putting the garden to bed for the rest of winter. I’m looking forward to Resting my back-hinge this weekend, and completing bulb planting next week. Oh yes, I’ll also be having some conversations with some of the larger trees at Broadwell to see if all’s well.