I spent several days last week working on what we call the Aster Border. This area leads from the Italian Terrace down some steps towards the parkland which surrounds the garden. The Aster Border runs down either side of these steps and is given its name due to the summer flowering asters and fuchsia which are planted in here. However in the spring it is full of bulbs including daffodils, crocus and muscari. The border was in much need of weeding and a general tidy up so the spring flowering bulbs can be seen at their very best.
Myself and one of our volunteers spent last Monday working down the length of these borders, one of us on either side, and we removed dead leaves, cut back any dead stems from last year’s growth and dug out weeds. We managed to get about half of this done. Monday was a breezy sunny day but we felt like we were in a wind tunnel! The wind seemed to come whipping across the bottom of the garden and tunnelled up the steps – I think we probably picked up all the leaves at least twice as they seemed to be blowing back out of the bucket!
Because I spent several days working in one area of the garden, I had a walk around the rest of the garden on Friday and was suprised by how many plants had flowered over the last week or so. Below are a selection of what I came across.
Pushkinia in the Display House
Iris reticulata in the Tropical Fernery
Iris reticulata ‘Katharine Hodgkin’ in the Italian Terrace Frames
Hellebores in the Italian Terrace
Polyanthus ‘Crescendo Yellow’ in the Orchard House
Hellebores in the Display House
Crocus in the Pinetum
Rhododendron ‘Christmas Cheer’ on the Rock Garden
Crocus along the Autumn Colour Walk
Rhododendron ‘Praecox’ on the Rock Garden
Cragside House and Gardens have re-opened again for the 2014 season, so if you get the chance why not come and visit us to see these spring beauties at their very best?