Hyacinths looking good at Blickling

Hyacinths looking good at Blickling

A couple of weeks on from my last stint at Blickling, I joined the other volunteers last week, on a bright sunny day. So warm, in fact, it was the first day in a garden without the need of a fleece, and also my first bit of hoeing too.

We began by tidying up the Peony borders. I hadn’t noticed these before, but they are long and devoted entirely to Peonies, which today had just started their journey upwards, making short red stems with the beginnings of the beautiful leaves that complement the flowers so well. ‘They’re just like Asparagus’ one volunteer remarked, and they do have a resemblance to the spear-like stems that thrust upwards, albeit a bit later on, here in Norfolk.

Anyway, an hour passed and then I was called over to the Walled Garden with fellow volunteer Peter, to do a bit of construction work. Project Manager Mike had gathered some Hazel sticks and asked if we would put together a supporting wall for some runner beans and a couple of ‘Wigwams’ (or should it be ‘Teepees’?) for Sweet Peas. It was really pleasant in the sunshine doing something a little more fiddly for once – it reminded me of how much I enjoy pruning and tying in! Well, that little task, together with a bit more hoeing and earth turning in the walled garden took us to the middle of the afternoon, at which point I needed to leave to pay a visit to the local Nursery- where I bumped into Peter and his wife once more!

I’ve been holding £55 worth of Garden Centre vouchers for a while now (most given to me by my children as a Father’s Day gift last year, the balance as  a prize I won recently for giving feedback on the Norfolk Master Composter Scheme). I’ve thought about getting an Acer to put in the new Wildlife Pond area at Old School Garden and the Nursery in Aylsham has a good selection; I managed to wrestle a 2 metre example into the back of the (open top) car. I’m not sure which variety it is, but it’s young leaf buds are just bursting into a bright cerise followed by paler pink and lemony green leaves. I’ve also wanted to get hold of a Ceanothus ‘Puget’s Blue’ for some time (in the shopping trolley it goes), and they also had some lovely Magnolias in bloom, so I didn’t resist the temptation to take home a lovely example of M. x loebneri ‘Merrill’.

These three specimens plus another, smaller Acer (palmatum), a black Elder and Camellia, already in pots at home, will form the back bone of the planting scheme around the pond. I’ll tell and show you more in due course…..

 Further Information:

Blickling Hall website

Blickling Hall Facebook page

A 360 degree tour of Blickling Hall

Old School Gardener

 

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