Welcome to Winter in the garden, and all the many lovely shades of brown. So many seedheads, grasses and winter leaves are keeping the Old Pond Garden looking beautiful. November was incredibly wet but the Volunteers tackled some great projects. The shrubbery in the front car park has benefitted from a comprehensive weed and some marathon pruning. A soakaway was dug by the steps to the Montessori Nursery, so that parents can pick up the kids without needing waders. Then it was on to bulb planting – we predict a River of Purple (Alliums) through the beds next year!Continue reading OPG Diary – November/December
Simon White is the President of Norwich Horticultural Society and Sales Manager for the RHS award winning Peter Beales Garden Centre in Attleborough, Norfolk, where he has worked for 41 years.
He gave an entertaining and informative talk on growing roses. He said, if provided with the right conditions, it was not true that roses were difficult to grow. Simon said Beales had the largest collection of roses in the world. They primarily sell bare root roses and many old traditional classic roses. They grow from seed some 250,000 a year in fields rented from a local farmer and he described how they grew them.
He then went on to show how we at home could grow bare root roses:
1.THEY NEED GOOD SOIL PREPARATION: Ideally bare root roses should be planted from November to March. Good quality fertiliser, including horse manure which is at least six month old, should be used. Do not use mushroom manure.Continue reading November meeting: Rose Growing made easy – Simon White
Thank you to all our volunteers, members and local residents who donated plastic bottle bases over the past year – look what we did with them! It might not be quite Tower of London level, but our poppy cascade makes a great “Stop and Remember” point on your walk around the park this week.
We also added some to the Peace Garden gates.
Winter is coming, it’s all still very beautiful!
Removing the green hazel, making an enormous hole and then replanting with a bronze one! It will all be worth it.
Removing the ivy on the walls is going to be more of a long term project. Look at that wonderful brick work though.
A proper Show Table again, at last! We had a very respectable 18 entries this month. Who would have believed November could be this colourful?
This is Harry & Val’s Eucharis amazonica, which is flowering for them for the fourth time this year!
Here is Jean’s rose “Compassion”, still blooming away in November:
Penny has sent in a picture of her Cobea plant, which she says is sited in a cold part of her garden but still insisting on flowering in November. It is beautiful, and usually grows as an annual in this country, so it must love her!
Carolyn’s Salvia “Hotlips” is providing late colour and cheer in her garden, having been flowering all summer long.
Viv has sent in her star performers, Schizostylus coccinea in two colours. Or Hesperantha as I suppose we should call them. Also known as Kaffir Lily or River Lily.
It has become a bit of a truism to say that gardens and open green spaces have become a lifeline to many during 2020. A survey examining life under lockdown as measured by Natural England’s People and Nature Survey, conducted in May 2020 found the following:
Our own project to renovate the Old Pond Garden at Charlton House has shown that many volunteers have appreciated the opportunity to get out into the open air and to be with other people. It has become the perfect community project.
Sue Stuart-Smith’s (many gardeners may be more familiar with her husband Tom Stuart-Smith, the garden designer and Chelsea gold winner) ‘The Well Gardened Mind’ was published earlier this year. Sue Stuart-Smith is a prominent psychiatrist and psychotherapist and her book examines neuroscience and psychoanalysis in the context of gardening and makes a strong claim for the benefits of gardening for mental well-being. Monty Don has long argued for the role of the garden in relieving depression and several episodes of Gardener’s World have featured individuals whose lives have been supported by the activity of gardening.
Gardens do not stand still; they are dynamic and ever-changing environments. Gardeners are always planning and looking forward. At the moment many of us, if we haven’t already done so, are ordering our bulbs for next spring. I am thinking about colour combinations (again) and I have a plan to move around my dahlias and make room for new varieties. On another recent visit to Great Dixter there was a stunning variety which, on enquiry, turned out to be Dovegrove. If I can find a supplier, I would like to include this in my borders next year.