Archive for 01/05/2016


Edinburgh Garden Diary

IMG_9982Arley Hall and its grand estate and extensive formal gardens lie near Warrington in the North West of England. I am always on the look-out for pleasant stop-offs to break my regular 5-hour journey between Edinburgh and Derbyshire, and Arley being just a few miles from the M6 it seemed like a good place to stretch my legs, buy a cup of tea, and revel in some expert garden design.

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While I mention design, I should clarify that Arley’s ancestral family, who have gardened at Arley for the past 250 years, proudly state that their work has been “unassisted by professional designers”, and that each feature of the garden represents the tastes and skill of particular family members across the generations. The current owners, the Viscount and Viscountess Ashbrook, are the latest members of the Egerton-Warburton family to have influenced the garden. A detailed set of panels within the garden…

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Digging for Dirt

Garden tasks for May 

  • Don’t get caught out by late and unexpected frosts! Keep some garden fleece handy and cover tender plants when temperatures drop.
  • Check emerging lily foliage for signs of the lily beetle which will strip leaves from the tip to the stem. These beetles may be small but they are also bright red making them really easy to spot. At this time of year they start looking for somewhere to lay their eggs, often settling on the underside of leaves. The resulting larvae remain on the plant for several months afterwards. Remove by hand and monitor frequently.
  • Once daffodils have ceased to flower overcrowded clumps can be lifted and divided to allow for healthier and more vigorous plants in the future.
  • This is the perfect month to take the first softwood cuttings of the year. Look for soft new growth about 10cm in length. Cut…

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