It’s a busy time in the Formal Gardens right now. The sunshine in March has encouraged a lot of our spring bedding displays to start flowering. However, this same sunshine has encouraged a whole host of weeds to grow too. So unsurprisingly we have been having a battle against the weed invasion, although I think we are winning – for now anyway.
The lawns have had their first cut of the season which really smartens up the appearance of the garden. Our pears, apricots, plum and golden gage trees in the orchard house are in full bloom and the hyacinths are looking (and smelling) good in the Loggia. We have some new seats in the Loggia too which make an ideal stop off particularly on a lovely sunny day. The Rose Bed has also been planted up – all 280 of them, and they are starting to put on some good growth already. We are all excited to see this new addition to the garden in full bloom later in the year.
I have been busy helping out with the propagation of plants for our summer displays. This has included seed sowing – I hate to think how many thousands, pricking out the first batch of seedlings and taking cuttings from stock plants to bulk up our numbers. I have been taking Pelargonium cuttings and John has taken a lot of Dahlia, Salvia and Fuchsias.
I have included a photo of the Propagation House below to show you what I’ve been up to. On the top shelf you can see the trays of seeds we have sown. There are even more along the front of the bench. In the bottom left corner we have our cuttings under plastic which allows for a warm and humid atmosphere to encourage them to root. On the shelf above we have our Pelargonium cuttings which prefer a drier atmosphere. And around the window ledges and on the back half of the benches are plants which have been pricked out, but still require the warmth of the Propagation House which is kept at a minimum of 15-18 degrees Celsius before being moved into a frost free glasshouse.
I’m not sure where we are going to put everything when it all needs pricked out, but as the saying goes “We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.”