Just one more thing.....If these big, rosy-pink, ready-to-burst buds of beautiful-ness don't get you smiling about Spring time, I dont know what will. Peach tree blossom time is nearly here.....How exciting!!!
Friday, 7 March 2014
The rain stops and the gardeners come out to play....with smiles too! Here are the boys ploughing through all the jobs that got abandoned from the rain. Clive has been doing his annual rummaging around in the Lost Valley, collecting pea sticks for the peas to clamber their way up. A very traditional method of practise, which not only looks fantastic but is incredibly successful too.
Terry is playing at Pond Life, by waterproofing up and rescuing the Aquatic plants in our Flower Garden dipping pool from all the strangulating algae and pond weed that has accumulated. We can now see the array of assorted baby fish enjoying the clean and un-clogged up water.
Barry and Jamie had to most complicated task this week of planting the big blocks of lily bulbs. With the Victorians being extreme hot on immaculately straight lines, they had to take extra care with the measuring out, as one bulb out of place could ruin the colour show!!
Finally, Anthony has the smelly job of turning in the seaweed to fertilise the soil. But as always, kept smiling.
Phew, that's a good few jobs crossed off the list! Hope your all catching up too.
Friday, 21 February 2014
Seeing as though the posts this week have lacked in colour, I thought Id leave you with a bright and beautiful (if a little early!) Sweet William I spotted amongst the hunderds we have planted down the side of our apple arch in the vegetable garden.
After much deliberation, the decision was finally made that the 2 spare walls in the Flower Garden are to be planted with 2 sweet cherry trees. These young grafted trees absoluely love a sunny wall to be trained upon, therefore that is what we shall do.
For now, the tree is loosly tied to a single central cane. More canes will be attached to the wall for when the tree throws out some side branches, but I have a little while yet until that happnens. In the mean time, the tree is treated to a good old mulch and left alone to establish. We shall keep you update on progress.
Ed is fighting again the heavy showers here to get the last of the Shallots sets in. Using sets, rather than seed just gives you that little bit more reassurance that they will survive the cold snaps and they also mature that bit quicker than seed. The ground is prepared and graded down then the sets at placed in to dibbed holes ensuring that the soil is then completely hugging right the way around the bulb with a little bit of the stem still showing above the ground. Shallots are easy-growing and very undemanding, just watch out for your naughty feathered friends as they seem to get lots of enjoyment out of pulling them up!
Firstly, I'd like to apologise about the incredibly bad quality of the photograph, but the extremely moist atmosphere of the mushroom house kept steaming up my lens!!
That aside, LOOK!!! In the space of a week too. This now means that each morning for the next few weeks the thinning operation begins. Thinning reduces the likely hood of too many mushrooms trying to grow in the same clump, which results in a handful of small mushrooms with no more room to grow any bigger. This process if simply carried out using a small knife that cleanly slices the congested clumps, leaving a select few mushrooms to continue growing to the desired size. The rate of growth from now on never fails to amaze me, and equally does the taste!! I've yet to try a better mushroom than one freshly cut from the bales. If your visiting the tearooms anytime from now, expect to see various delicious mushroomy goods, and if your passing the melon yard i'm sure any of our gardeners would be more than happy to give you a peak inside.
Monday, 10 February 2014
Hooray for the mushroom bails!!
The mushroom house has now been filled with the annual delivery of mushroom bales. Mushrooms reproduce from spores, which form filaments called mycelia that grow into the mushrooms. Grains of wheat or rye are most commonly used as starter substrates for the spores and are called mushroom spawn. The bales have been capped with a casing soil for the mushrooms to grow through. The bales are misted, as well as all the walls and the floor, in the mushroom den to ensure an optimum warm humid environment, with the assistance of a regulated heater. We shall keep you up to date with the, quite often, rapid growth of the mushrooms.
The pictures below are of one of the logs in our stumpery in the flower garden. Stumperies have currently been hitting the media and becoming very popular so I thought we should show you this beautiful Lichen covered tree stump, which you could easily produce in your own garden.
Lichens are favoured by humid, still conditions and clean air. They are particularly adaptable as they are able to exist where nutrients, and sometimes water, are scarce. They grow profusely on trees and shrubs which have been neglected - especially where the branches have become overcrowded or the plant is in poor health. Therefore, the addition of a tree stump or un-needed logs to a specific area to encourage Lichen is a great attraction to a garden.
"Lichenes" from Ernst Haeckel's, Artforms of Nature, 1904