The regeneration of a significant walled garden

This week we went to Norwich to see the Giacometti exhibition “A Line Through Time” at the Sainsbury Centre. Absolutely stunning but that’s another story. As we were staying overnight near Norwich we decided to visit Blickling Hall and Gardens. The absolute star there was the walled garden.

In early 2015 it was just grass. Then a project was started to regenerate the walled garden to achieve a productive garden that is able to supply the Blickling Estate cafe.

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Blickling Walled Garden project beginning

And now just 18 months later it is being realised.

A stunning achievement and Mike, the project manager, and his team need to be congratulated on their achievement.DSC01260

Clematis of the week

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Clematis Margaret Hunt

Clematis Margaret Hunt is a strong-growing vine that has large star-shaped, dusty pink (with hints of lavender) flowers in mid to late summer. Its pinnate leaves are pale green.

Sweet Peas

Sometimes the unexpected happens. Last year “The English Garden” magazine included a free packet of Sweet Pea seeds. These were planted in October in the cold greenhouse and planted out in March this year. They have been enormously successful and have been flowering for many weeks now. The bad news is that I have no idea what variety they were so it will be hard to repeat this success next year!

Gardening at Glebe House Garden was very much dependent on the weather this week with frequent showers of rain ensuring it was not always possible to use an electric hedge cutter.  However, one of the boundary hedges was cut and the cuttings shredded ready for adding to the compost heap. More progress on the cobbles was made and another crop of milkweed around the roses removed. Such a hard weed to eliminate!

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Leggy Irene Watts, creeping thyme and a very prickly visitor

Leggy Irene Watts

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Irene Watts is an excellent rose and deserves a place in any garden. These bushes had been in for around sixteen years and had got rather leggy. This year we took the plunge and cut them all down to around one inch in January! Adding some rose fertilizer and a mulch we then waited………….and waited………… and after eight weeks new growth broke through and the bushes took on a new life.07_07_16_2773

The bushes are compact again, have been flowering for over eight weeks and look set for another sixteen years.

Clematis of the week

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Clematis Ascotiensis

Clematis Ascotiensis is a very nice shade of blue, it has large flowers and they bloom from June to September. The height will be around 6 to 8 feet and the spread around 3 feet.

Creeping Thyme

Any paved patio area needs planting pockets.11_07_16_2866There are many low growing plants to consider but Creeping Thyme is my favorite.11_07_16_2865The drainage will need to be good but then it will look after itself, giving a great aroma when you walk on it and insects love it.

A prickly visitor

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It is not often we see hedgehogs during the day. This one was quite small so maybe it had lost its mother and was looking for a new home. We fed it some peanuts and ‘June drop’ apples which it seemed to enjoy. And then it left our garden, crossed the lane and went into a neighbouring garden. However, we do have lots of hedgehogs living in our garden as evidenced by the little black piles we come across on the lawn and we have a number of wood heaps where they make their home.

Another sunny day; another photograph

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The last week we have finally had some summer weather. With temperature at 32c in the garden and high humidity it has not been gardening weather.  The sun beds have been used a lot this last few days. As always in England the heat ended in a heavy rainstorm which can play havoc with the flowers. The rose growing over the arch is Rosa Ghislaine de Feligonde.  Clusters of small flowers bearing a sweet musky fragrance are produced repeatedly throughout the summer into the autumn. Blooms vary in colour going from orange/yellow to cream. The rose in the tree is Rosa Bobbie James, a vigorous rambler capable of considerable climbing feats, especially into trees or hedges. In addition in the foreground is Nepeta x faassenii, Osteospermum Tresco Purple and Rudbeckia Berlin.

 

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Yew balls,cobbles and creepers

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This part of the gardens is called the japanese garden mainly because of the granite Japanese lantern that you can see in the centre although we have planted it to give a Japanese look and feel. Originally area between the box hedging was planted with a  a variety of hebe bushes which were pruned to shape but over time they became woody and tended to lean too much on the box. So a few years ago we took the hebes out and replaced them with box balls and Hakonechloa macra. Alas the balls suffered from blight and so they were rapidly removed and replaced by yew balls. Now they are all due their annual clip. This will be followed by a fungicide spray as a precaution against the blight.

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Job done!

Cobbles

The garden is situated on what must have been an old river bed. There is no shortage of river cobbles that seem to come up where ever you dig. These have been used  to good effect to make hard landscaping around the garden as can be seen above. The courtyard at the front of the house is also cobbled. This dates back to when the house was the stabling and coach house to the rectory next door. IMG_7748
Overtime the moss between the cobbles starts to take over. Every ten years it’s down on your hands and knees to remove the moss; a job that can take hours!

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Half done!

Clematis of the week:

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Clematis ‘Elsa Path’

Summer pruning
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By the side of an old pig sty there are three double-U pear trees and some step over apples. July is the time to prune them. Strong laterals are cut back to three good leaves and sub-laterals to 1 inch.

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Job done

Creepers

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Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) is one of those plants that behaves for most of the year and then suddenly it explodes into growth and action is required to prevent the house disappearing.  A ladder and secateurs does the job but maybe it will need doing one more time before the end of the year.
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The date 1977 on the side of the house which is now visible is the date an extension was added to the old part of the house. Old materials were used and it looks like it was always there.

Despite the rather strange summer weather the flower beds are looking very full. Interestingly the dahlias are only just coming into flower, a good four weeks later than normal.

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Main garden looking towards the pergola

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Art and Alliums

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Back home after a week and a half away and it is not looking too bad. However, there is work to be done. The lawn never stops growing and needed a good cut.

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It is not looking too bad although speedwell continues to be the main weed which is very hard to eliminate. Any suggestions?

We had arranged for the Hoby Art Group to spend some time in the garden. 13641192_10154394986859575_7592941501705427053_o

Looking at the yew hedge in the centre I can see some more work required!

Clematis of the week:

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Clematis Viola making a fantastic display and this plant is only three years old!

_MG_1313 Alliums can look fantastic. Here typical mixtures of Alliums with Rosa ‘Shot Silk’ on the wall.  07_07_16_2784The issue in our garden is that they love to self seed so although the seed heads can look great we have to remove them before they seed.07_07_16_2786

It has rained on several days so not so much time in the garden!

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