Welcome to our Head Gardener’s Journal

In this monthly column, we will share technical aspects of our work and also keep you up to date about ongoing projects. If there is any topic you might want to hear more about, please ask during your next visit!

A New Lilac Grove

A congested and sprawling remnant from previous garden eras, a row of philadelphus shrubs formed an unattractive hedge between the car park area and the New Garden. The plants were completely overgrown and rarely flowered, despite diligent pruning, which is why Harry saw there was no other choice but to coppice them last summer. We hoped that the plants would regrow and thus rejuvenate the hedge.

Overgrown philadelphus hedge
Cutting down the hedge

The philadelphus, however, did not oblige. We therefore decided to take this as an opportunity to redesign the area this spring. Both across the drive and in the adjacent New Garden, there are lilac groves. We therefore felt that we should replant the space in the same theme, using four different varieties of lilac, persicarias, rosa nitida kebu, lathyrus vernus, summer snowflakes and omphaloides. Before we could plant, the border needed to be shaped and the soil prepared. This included digging up the philadelphus roots and rotovating the soil. Before planting, a layer of composted bark was applied for moisture retention and weed suppression.

Marking the shape of the grove border
Defining the border with steel edging
Removal of the shrub roots
Rotovating the soil
Rotovated soil
Composted bark top dressing

Next, the plants were set out and planted.

Set out plants
Finished bed