Fields full of primroses and the appearance of the first bluebells confirm that spring has finally arrived! This is a very busy time of year in the garden, with the tidying of the grounds and flower beds being done alongside preparations for the upcoming summer growing season. This year, the vegetable gardens are being expanded with the addition of an asparagus bed, and a metal ‘dome’ which will soon be covered with a variety of squash and courgette plants. The new beds surrounding the dome will include a number of willow obelisks to support a wide variety of beans and other climbers. As in past years, the vegetable and herb gardens will be supplying the kitchen with a selection of unusual and ultra-fresh produce, with any excess being offered for sale to club members. As we grow all of our vegetables and most of our annuals from seed, this year we are also expecting to have some plants for sale.

Our big project this spring has been the removal of the old hedge bordering the swimming pool, enabling us to increase the lawn area.  Plans are in place to plant a new hedge along the fence-line, but in the mean time, enjoy the vista across the fields! Maintenance of the large shrub beds above the bar lawn is ongoing, with the most dramatic change being visible in the top bed where the overgrown evergreens have been replaced with a mixture of deciduous shrubs including cornus and azalea, adding colour and interest. Moving further up the hill, we are looking forward to the replacement of the summer house ‘gazebo’ at the top of the redwood walk, which we are planning on completing this summer.

Now that the scaffolding around the conservatory has been removed, we can begin to spruce up this flower bed and enjoy watching our spring bulbs and perennials emerge.  We have also planted some summer bulbs in this bed and are particularly looking forward to seeing our giant white foxtail lilies!