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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!

Harbingers of Spring

While we are busy pruning, training and building hazel supports in the still-desolate formal gardens, signs of spring emerge elsewhere as Hellebores begin to flower throughout the woodland gardens. Due to their habit of hybridizing freely, there are always surprises when new shades and shapes appear each year.

Hellebore hybrids

On the East terrace, under our listed white horse chestnut, where we painstakingly weeded last year, an intricate pattern of snowdrops, winter aconites and Cyclamen coum unfolds.

Carpet of spring bulbs on the East Terrace

The bulbs emerge amongst the ivy. Ivy is useful as a weed-suppressing ground cover, but is a double-edged sword that also threatens our more welcome spring bulbs. Cyclamen are at the greatest risk of being ‘throttled’. Harry therefore keeps a baleful eye on ivy throughout the year, occasionally rescuing cyclamen corms from creeping strands.

Cyclamen coum, winter aconites and snowdrops