I'm the only gardener there so things do get a little busy especially in spring and in times like these when it's warm and wet. I have to prioritise my work so often, the front from the bridge down looks superb and the top looks awful.
But, being on my own has it's advantages. I can do what work i want and, within sensible reason, i can plant what plants i like. I don't see my boss for 6 months at a time and as he's a plantsman too, he tends to appreciate anything i put in.
The gunnera gets that big in about 2 months....it grows quickly then stops....then, when the frosts come, i'll cut it all down again.
But how long has it been there? I had a discussion with Obs a while back, I can never keep one over winter despite taking all the recommended precautions. I've only ever found very small plants to start from and wondered at the time if abigger specimen would have more chance of survival.
Lumme, you LUCKY thing! I'd like to live in your chalet.....what a wonderful place to garden and being on your own there must be luvverly. You're obviously making a fine job of running the garden - it looks really beautiful. Is it a private garden then? If you don't see your boss much does that mean he doesn't even live there full time? You jammy thing! (I'm just jealous).
HI Toons - My garden group - and Margi - visited a garden in Zelzate at the beginning of April. It had only just thawed and there wasn't much to see but there was this huge heap by a pond in one big bed. It turns out she buries her gunera under 3' of compost to protect it and it then just pushes its way through when it's ready and gets huge.
Mine has had to make do with only a foot of protection but managed to survive all last winetr threw it but this year it will get the works and then we'll see if it grows to a decent size. This year the biggest leaves were barely 2' across and not very tall so fingers crossed for next year.
Toonia.....the gunnera have been there for many years. Every three or four years, i hack bits off the main plants and transplant them. I will be doing this in March next year.
Every November, i cut them right down to the crown and fold the old leaves over the crowns. I then smother in straw so there's at least 12" all over the plant. I get through 10 big bales doing this.
They're then uncovered in April time, mulched heavily with mushroom compost and kept as wet as possible.
4P.....the garden is council run (it used to be the biggest municiple rock garden in Europe). I never see my manager because he has his favourite staff in other parts of the park and spends all his time with them.....which suits me down to a T !!! ;D
I'll have to come and lurk around Lewes in March next year then! By the way, do you know the Battle memorial in Lewes? It was sculpted by my late FIL and donated by the OH's godfather, MP for Lewes at the time! A small claim to fame!
It was built from 1934 - 1936....officially opened on 30th may 1936
it was originally an overgrown railway bank although report early on say that there were two half size bowling greens where the pond currently is
The back of the garden is right next to the main Brighton to London rail line
1,350 tons of rock were imported from cheddar gorge by rail and a cutting dug in the bank to offload the rocks.
There have been several changes to the garden in the 70 years it's been with us....most of them involving chages to the paths.
The chalet was originally thatched.....right up to the late 1980's but it kept getting burned down.
only a few of the original plants remain....mainly cedars and Elms
When i got into the garden 7 years ago, it hadn't been touched for 10 years. It took myself and 3 other staff 6 months to renovate the lot....cutting back and clearing areas and exposing much of the rockwork
There is a waterfall (pumped up from the pond) that starts right at the top and flows down through about 20 different pools. There are both stepping stones and a footbridge over the waterfall.
The pond contains thousands of fish.....mainly goldfish and carp but there's some big koi in there plus lots of indiginous species such as Rudd and Bream. Not to mention the hundreds of frogs, toads and newts. We did have 3 terrapins but they got nicked about 3 years ago.
Many people say the garden was designed around the Willow pattern but no reference was ever made to this during design or construction.
I was a trainee there in 1985....there were 5 staff there then including the "boy"....now there's only me
Andy, I dreamt about your garden last night but somehow the chalet had turned into a hobbit hole! It was right nice inside though! There was something horrid lurking in the gunnera...so watch out this morning!
Took my camera to work today. Twas evil with wind and lashing rain but despite all the gloom, there's still some lovely colour about
Phormium tenax (New Zealand flax)
Salix alba chermesina
Cornus alba elegentissima (variegated dogwood)
Miscanthus zebrinus....providing some lovely winter movement.
Prunus subhirtella 'autumnalis'
A colourful view along a path
And finally, this is the bank we've been clearing. It was full of out of control rubus. This area, which has the waterfall going through, will be left for most of the summer and sprayed with roundup to kill all traces of rubus, and then planted up with mainly foliage shrubs and a few herbaceous species.
And finally finally.....this is my ickle rockery at home in my front garden. I did this about a year ago and in a few months, it will burst into life with loads of dwarf bulbs.
Nice piccies! I've got Elegantissima but it's a bit smaller than that one!!!
The elegentissima is my favourite dogwood because of the stunning summer varigated foliage. There's about 6 plants in the above picture and they all get a good hard hack back every year to get the best winter colour.
To tell you the truth, the salix is more stunning, probably because it's bigger and out on its own.
Your home garden looks pretty nice too. Will you post pictures of the bulbs in bloom please. Dutchy
Of course. I've now got a nice mix, although this will be the first year all the bulbs will be out. Hopefully, i've got crocus, Iris reticulata, dwarf narcissi, dwarf tulips, varigated tulips, snowdrops, chinadoxia and a few others i've forgotten about.
Andy, I have my Iris in a pot with my buddleia. The Iris is in full bloom today as well. ( still a bud yesterday) Your rockery looks fab with its Spring colours out. I love the pale pink crocuses against the steely blue gravel. It emphasises their fragility thus drawing your eye to them. ( Hm hope you know what I mean )
Weeds are nature's revolution against the government of the gardener.
Went round work with the camera yesterday and took the following pics. There will be plenty more appearing over the following weeks as things of interest come into leaf and flower.
Meanwhile, enjoy the colour....it's a shame you can't send scent over t'internet because some of the plants here are just heavenly.
I'll start with this beauty. This is a Corokia cottoneaster. That's it's actual name....it's not a cottoneaster but the specific name of a plant is usually a descrbing name (aurea=golden, salicifolia=willow leaved) so this corokia is said to resemble a cottoneaster.
Anyways, the plant has been in the garden for a good 30 years and is only 5' tall. It's just coming into flower and when it's fully out, the whole shrub is a mass of tiny yellow star shaped flowers which have the most unique scent. I asked someone yesterday what they thought it smelt like and someone immediately said "like a new leather handbag" But to me, it resembles 3 smells....vanilla, playdough and coconut suntan lotion. Whatever it resembles, it is spectacular.
Euphorbia grifithii 'fireglow'
A sea of Euphorbia
Euphorbia amigdoloides 'purpurea'....one of the nicest spurges around
One of the millions of seedling cowlips in the garden...god they seed everywhere !
A gorgeous alpine phlox
Malus 'profusion'....what a stunner
Another gloriously scented shrub....this is Osmanthus delaveyi
Acer palmatum dissectum atropurpureum
Exochordia 'the bride' looking mighty impressive
I hate flowering cherries with a passion but for a couple of weeks in spring and a couple in autumn, they are simply breathtaking
Another heavenly scented shrub. This is one of the vibernum carlesei variants....probably V. park farm hybrid.
The snowball tree....vibernum opulus 'sterile' the flowers eventually turn white and resemble snowballs. No berries or seed are produced as the plant is...sterile !!!
This is one of my favourite lilacs....the palabin lilac (Syringia velutina palabiniana). Small, sweetly scented flowers on a shrub that can reach 15' over time.