The garden is in the process of being put to bed. The leaves have been raked up from the grass areas and the vegetable garden almost cleared. The pumpkins, chard and leeks are finished and only the Jerusalem artichokes remain. Perhaps one should say in reality they are in abundance and just waiting to be freshly dug for any takers during the next months!
Several beds in the mulberry garden have been dismantled. The dahlias have been lifted, washed, dried and powdered with sulphur. The salvias lifted, potted up and put undercover. Cuttings were taken earlier just in case of non-survivors.
Many large pots have been planted up with varieties of tulips. They should make a spectacular display next spring, but at present are covered with wire mesh to protect them from squirrels and foxes. They are housed in the secondary compost area. Previously this was a dump of old pots, wire fencing and rubbish overgrown with ivy and weeds. It has been transformed. Pots and rope tiles washed and stacked neatly, mipex covering the weeded area and four extra compost bays revealed. Homemade compost has been one of the keys to the transformation of the gardens fertility.
For those not enthused by a garden asleep, perhaps will enjoy the shelter of the conservatory. Many plants are happy too for its relative warmth and shelter. The splendid Argave given to us by Anthony Wildig and featuring as ‘December Plant of the Month’ is one of them.
In the run up to Christmas, the Paper White narcissi have flowered with perfect timing and fill the conservatory with their perfume.
After Nick retired and with Alan no longer working at Reveley it seemed very hard for Rory and the few volunteers. Happily our fortune has changed; five new gardeners have volunteered this year, bringing the total to sixteen. They are younger than many of us too!
We have joined the WRAG scheme (work and retrain as a gardener) and have recently welcomed Barry Tobin. He works 15 hours a week in the garden helping Rory and in return is tutored in many aspects of horticulture.