wp_20161116_11_36_20_proIt’s been a couple of weeks since my last visit to Blickling, and this week I went twice, though the first visit was to hear a talk by Assistant Head gardener, Steve Hagon about his 45 years of gardening here…quite a feat.

The talk was an amusing wander through some of Steve’s experiences . He began work as a 15 year old straight out of School and at that time- 1972 – the gardens had no powered machinery and no volunteers- quite a contrast to today’s set up!

wp_20161116_11_32_50_pro1My second visit was on Wednesday as other commitments meant I couldn’t get there for my usual Thursday stint. As before on Wednesdays there was a good turnout. I was sorry to hear the Walled Garden Project Manager, Mike, was still off work having injured his back. If you’re reading this Mike, all the best for a quick return to the gardens!

For the first hour I and two fellow volunteers and gardener Jane lifted the Cannas from the double borders and potted these up for transfer to their winter quarters in the orangery. Apparently these didn’t flower very well this year- quite  contrast to my own in Old School Garden, which put on their best show to date. Due to the poor (or no) flowering there was a little doubt about the colours of the flowers, so Jane tentatively put general labels in the pots indicating whether from their positioning  they were thought to be ‘warm’ or ‘hot’- it will be interesting to see what transpires next year, assuming we have better flowering!

After this we joined the bulk of the other volunteers in the Walled Garden where the glorious display of dahlias was sadly no more and the time had come to cut the top growth down and mulch the bed thickly for winter protection. As I’ve mentioned before, Mike has decided to leave the tubers in the ground and use a thick mulch to protect them over winter. I’ll be interested to see how they get on, but given their sheltered position and the thick mulch they should be OK.

We quickly finished off the cutting down- some of the stems were very thick and hollow and many were full of water. Then, while the ladies went over the borders of Thyme and other plants in need of a prune,  a few of us turned our attention to barrowing some more of that lovely home-made compost to the border, accompanied by gardener Ed and his amazing tractor skills! Ed managed to not only fill a 3 ton trailer for us which reduced the distance we had to barrow, but subsequently deposited a few tractor shovel loads  along the edge of the border.

He was also very efficient in doing a ‘formation fill’ of three or four wheelbarrows at once- see the picture below!.

wp_20161116_12_10_03_proFurther Information:

Blickling Hall website

Blickling Hall Facebook page

A 360 degree tour of Blickling Hall

Old School Gardener

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