Blickling Hall, under some recent snow

Blickling Hall, under some recent snow

Old School Garden

31st January 2015

To Walter Degrasse

Dear Walter,

Well the New Year came, and it heralded a new gardening energy for me after a few months of relative sloth!

I’ve begun my volunteering at Blickling Hall and as you might have read this is proving to be very interesting and satisfying, including meeting a host of other volunteers and helping to begin the regeneration of the two acre walled garden.

At home it’s been a few weeks of planning (seed checking, organising and buying), thinking a bit more about the wildlife pond I’m going to install here at Old School Garden and getting a few things under way, like chitting the potatoes (‘Foremost’ as first earlies and ‘Charlotte’ as second earlies), sowing  the first leeks, some bush tomatoes, cucumbers and sweet peas, all with the aid of some heated propagators. They’re now doing nicely and in the next week or two I’ll pot these up and bring them on in my makeshift greenhouse (our lounge!). It’ll soon be time to get the next lot of seeds underway.

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Seed potatoes being ‘chitted’ on the windowsill

I haven’t been up to much outside- and the mole hills continue to appear! I think I’ll venture out in the next few weeks and continue the tidying up before things really get going. Oh, by the way, I’m persevering with the Melianthus as I believe if I leave the foliage on (despite the plant looking a bit straggly now) I might get some flowers in the next few weeks- there are some already forming on a plant I’ve seen at Blickling.

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First signs of growth for the new season…

I’ve completed my review of the grounds and gardens at the local primary school and hope that this will help them get to grips with their open spaces and get the most from them, especially educational and play value and for improving the diversity of wildlife. I’m also still working on the Management Plan for the local churchyard – the base plan is in place and I now need to research some details on establishing much of the space as a wild flower meadow. My latest garden design course is due to begin in Reepham in just over a week’s time- hopefully there’ll be enough takers to let it run.

I guess that’s about all the news this month old friend. I hope you’re keeping well and warm in this spell of cold weather, though thankfully we seem to have missed the dramatic snowfalls in New England (well, at least for now).

all the best,

Old School Gardener

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