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Old School Gardener

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WP_20150122_12_03_53_ProMy latest session as a volunteer gardener with the National Trust at Blickling Hall involved working in another area of the gardens- the Winter Garden, which I think was planted up a few years ago as an area to feature colourful stems, fragrance and flowers at this quiet time of the year in the garden.

Work in the Walled Garden has been continuing, however, and with a few frosty nights it has been possible to move and spread the rest of the farmyard manure over the beds. As you can see below, this has helped to give definition to these planting areas…

Muck spreading in the Walled Garden- get to work worms! Picture: Michael Owers

Muck spreading in the Walled Garden- get to work worms! Picture: Michael Owers

For gardener Rebecca, me and the other ‘Thursday volunteers’, this week involved raking off a thick quilt of Sweet Chestnut and other leaves, tidying up spent stems and foliage and sprucing up the Hellebores…. as well as uncovering the first snowdrops. When I say ‘quilt’ I’m not joking – I just hope the plants underneath haven’t been as shocked as I have been, recently, emerging from under my own quilt in the frosty mornings!

So, for me the day that was spent almost entirely raking and loading leaves into trailers to be carried away for turning into leaf mould. Definitely one that required a ‘Radox Bath’ on my return home!

Even though it was repetitive work, it was also very satisfying, showing off this lovely garden with its over-arching trees and understory of shrubs and winter perennials- and hopefully giving some of the plants a good chance to ‘pick up’ as the seasons move on.

Further information:

Blickling Hall website

Blickling Hall Facebook page

A 360 degree tour of Blickling Hall

Old School Gardener

 

Originally posted on Jardin:

As if a visit to Oxford, “city of dreaming spires”, isn’t reward enough, a day spent at the University of Oxford’s Botanic Garden (OBGHA) is an absolute delight.

Botanic gardens have an important role to play in plant conservation, with research, development, seed banks and education, contributing to preserving plant diversity. About 100,000 plants, more than a third of the world’s plant species, are facing extinction in the wild and Botanic Gardens worldwide have an important role to play in their preservation.

The role of Botanic Gardens in Plant Conservation.

So it is an added bonus when they are aesthetically pleasing as well.

At Oxford, the Gardens are divided into the Lower Garden and the Walled Garden as well as seven glasshouses packed with treasures – 1200 different species from around the globe.

Inside the glasshouses, one moves from the humidity of a tropical jungle

Botanic Gardens, Oxford

Botanic gardens Oxford

to alpine and desert environments

Each…

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Originally posted on Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse:

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Over the last nine months I have done many things that makes the answer to the question ‘how was work today?’ sound very interesting. I have fork-lifted a mammoth tusk. I have frozen an Anglo Saxon manikin. I have cleaned a Bishop’s Throne and written a trail about dragons.

The weird and wonderful has become the everyday so perhaps I should spell out what I do here over in the Norfolk Collections Centre and why I think it is important. My job title is Collections Management trainee, and although you may think that it’s not hard to manage a load of inanimate objects, it is harder than it sounds.

The weird and wonderful normally appears at the beginning of the week when reaching up and lifting down some of the mystery pallets off the racking. In fact that is the most exciting time, when we are about to look at…

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Originally posted on National Trust Press Office:

The National Trust has joined forces with charities across the UK this week to call for the protection and celebration of Britain’s treasured landscapes.

With ongoing speculative development in and around sensitive areas, such as National Parks and AONBs, the group of 27 organisations believes that it is vital for future government policy and funding to reflect the extraordinary value of landscapes.

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Originally posted on The Anxious Gardener:

On a cold drizzle-evening recently, I settled down with a glass of wine and my laptop.  The hard drive was groaning with 45 000 (!) digital photos and it was time to make some space.  After deleting a couple of hundred and drifting off to the fridge for a re-fill, I grew distracted by re-discovering half-forgotten photographs, squirreled away in deep, dusty folders and dank, cobwebby files.  For example, I found one batch taken on a weekend break to Norfolk with my partner Jim and our son in August 2013.  I reproduce some of those here in the hope that they provide a little wistful sun and cheer during a rainy, drab month.

oooOOOooo

DSM_5951

When a member of Jim’s family kindly offered us the use of her holiday home in north Norfolk we immediately, excitedly, breathlessly replied, ‘Yes, yes, yes!’

DSM_5237

The house was an unremarkable bungalow until it was redesigned…

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Originally posted on Lancelot Capability Brown:

It’s 2015, already, and we’re well on our way towards the tercentenary festival year for Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown of 2016. All the chatter about doing something to celebrate Brown’s 300th Birthday has grown, thankfully from a small group of industry professionals to a significant Funding bid, related activity, and a host of Brownian landscapes and people keen to be involved.

A thirst for knowledge is being triggered as we move closer to 2016, engaging people and creating new research opportunities. Who knows what information will surface as we move forward. Furthermore, new people will be drawn towards landscape who may previously not have. Filling real landscapes with real people for walking, rolling, rowing, artistic endeavours and a range of sporting activities will breath new life into these gardens.

So why the criticism? Why do some folk feel the need to sneer at the efforts people are making towards 2016? There…

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Sedum spectabile

Sedum spectabile

1. Stachys lanata- flowers May- September, but mainly used for foliage.

2. Ceanothus ‘Autumnal Blue’- flowers August- October.

3. Hibscus syriacus- flowers August- October.

4. Saliva officinalis ‘Tricolor’- colourful foliage, flowers May- June.

5. Caryopteris x clandonensis- flowers June – September.

6. Sedum spectabile- flowers July- August. Flowerheads provide interest in autumn.

7. Ceratostigma willmottianum- flowers August- October. Autumn leaf colour.

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