OPG Diary – September /October

September started off with the tail end of The Drought and as it became wetter the Volunteers were very grateful to get back to some proper gardening. The great news is that we hardly lost any plants at all.

The Peace Garden has benefited from our attention, with the last of the annoying stones on the path edges being removed, and work on the shrubs and climbers along the walls making them look much more defined and trim.

Removing stones in the Peace Garden
Removing the last loose stones, saving the lawn mower!

In the Old Pond Garden, many perennials went to seed earlier than usual, due to the drought, but the seedheads are quite spectacular.

The Volunteers were thrilled to receive a donation of jars of honey from the Charlton House Beekeepers. The bees had a bumper year, partly due to our lovely gardens. To stop any squabbling, we held a raffle to decide who got a jar and the happy winners are shown here:

Volunteers with Honey
Thank you for the lovely Honey!

The Long Border gates have been repaired and the paving re-laid, although sadly our plan for wheelchair/buggy access has not gone ahead, partly due to money, partly because the Trust is instead looking at an estate-wide plan for access. At least the gates are open again and being used by visitors (and volunteers!).

Repairing the Long Border gates
Long Border gates and steps being repaired

The Front Lawn beds were the subject of some rather heroic weeding efforts, just in time to look good for the Horn Fair, and some are partially planted up with perennials now, instead of short-term bedding. The shrubbery on the main drive and by the stables is being cut back hard and cleared of ivy and looking so much better. The idea of “first appearances” has taken hold in our work, we hope visitors will appreciate it!

The Horn Fair was a big success (see earlier post) and has helped fund the plants and bulbs that are about to go in. At half term, we set the Halloween decorations up for Charlton House Explorers and the children had fun finding all the spiders, bats and pumpkins etc. (well, we had some fun too!).

The small Mulberry tree which was originally donated by the Charlton Society and was rediscovered during our early renovations, has finally found a new home at the far side of the Wilderness. All the Volunteers at that days session wanted to help dig it in and make sure it is happy!

The Long Border is rather languishing behind in all this, but the mild weather has highlighted some late flowering lovelies in there (Cleomie and Shoo Fly for instance). Of course it has meant a lot of rampant seedling growth too – mainly the opium poppy and Mullein offspring from the looks of it. We will turn proper attention to this soon and have already bought a grand selection of shrubs for structure, all ready to go in.

Future: We are about to set up a small plant sales table outside the Peace Garden gates, to sell off our spare plants and we have a JustGiving page set up for donations from this. Bulb Planting – we have Hyacinth Woodstock and drum alliums to plant, as well as lots more Thalia and Alliums for the Old Pond Garden. Onward!


4 thoughts on “OPG Diary – September /October”

  1. I’m a new volunteer and not been for a week or too but seems you’ve all been really busy and I’ve missed a lot, especially the half-term fun! Hope to see everyone soon, in time for bulb planting.


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