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Bees and Beasties…

Colourful beehives were much in evidence whenever we walked in the countryside, but we were warned to steer well clear because the bees are a far more fearsome race than our placid British bees. At this time of year their main food source is the invasive acacia, so there may well be resistance to their…

via Bees & Beasties — The Enduring Gardener

Outdoor Classroom Day on 18 May is a day to step outside the classroom and climb the ladder of outdoor learning and play.

via Join in a global day to change the way children learn and play — Rethinking Childhood

En route to Glasgow – over the clouds, somewhere in the Lake DistrictThe Pineapple – an extraordinary architectural feat, on the way to EdinburghPitmuies – a captivating garden on the way to AberdeenEdzell Castle – a ruin with attitude, helped by the bright blue skiesCrarae – a Himalayan garden in the heart of Argyll and…

via Wednesday Walkabout – Great Gardens of Scotland — The Galloping Gardener

I’m currently learning about Permaculture Design on an online course provided by Oregon State University. It’s interesting revisitng what I know about garden and landscape design from this new perspective, and whilst a lot of the Permaculture approach has many similarities with traditional landscape design, there are some interesting new angles and ideas which enlarge the scope and address some fundamental issues like the impacts of climate change and ‘going with nature’. The course provides some fascinating links to many additional resources and I was delighted to look at one or two ‘musical takes’ on some of Permaculture’s principles by a guy called Charlie McGee. Here’s  an example (there are a number of others on Youtube) which I particularly love…all about embracing change..enjoy!

Old School Gardener

Tree climbing…

Do you remember those first clamberings, the tentative propulsion upwards, the scrambled search for a purchase with feet or hands, a roughness of bark rubbing legs and arms as they grappled with the ascent? The liberation of leaving the ground behind and entering the leafy expanse above was an exhilirating paradigm shift. The world opened […]

via These Trees Are Meant for Climbing — PlayGroundology

A lot of new gardening and plant books have landed on my mat this spring, and I need to up my book reviewing game! I like to do them justice, and spend some time reading them before I write a review, so that does create a bit of a backlog. Right at the time when…

via Book Review: The Community Gardening Handbook — The Unconventional Gardener

Charles Jenck’s Garden of Cosmic Speculation – the Holy Grail of Scottish gardens – is open to the public for just one day this year – next Sunday, 30 April – as part of the open scheme arranged by Scotland’s Gardens. I’ve been lucky enough to visit twice in the last five years – once on an…

via Garden of Cosmic Speculation open to public on 30 April 2017 — The Galloping Gardener

Dawn Chorus Day….

Hundreds of early birds will get the chance to hear the dawn chorus over the next week, as National Trust places celebrate International Dawn Chorus Day. The global event, which takes place this Sunday, will be marked by dawn chorus walks led by rangers and expert birdwatchers at more than 20 National Trust places this […]

via Celebrating International Dawn Chorus Day 2017 — National Trust Press Office

Well, a little sadness this week. Due to a combination of other commitments (including Jury Service and six weeks away in Australia), I had to say a temporary farewell to my fellow gardeners at Blickling this week. I won’t return until early August; by then I expect to see plenty of progress, including the apple arch fully assembled and painted!

I joined Rory (who had brought in some lovely cake to celebrate his birthday), both Peters and Gordon alongside the parterre where the hyacinths had been dug up. After collecting these we needed to dig over and weed the bed in preparation for the Penstemons. Tressa and Diane were busy cutting off the top growth on the bulbs so that these can be stored for next year.

There was plenty of chick weed in the border so we made steady, if not rapid progress. By lunch time about three-quarters of the area was done. On my way to lunch I noticed how the double border tulips are pretty much at their peak at present…

After lunch I had a quick talk with Aussie Peter, who is a Garden Guide here, to get his thoughts on the draft Tree Trail I’d been working on. He made some helpful comments and we talked about how the trail could be of use to the Garden Guides as they take groups around.

After this I met with Head Gardener Paul and some colleagues from the wider Property Management Team to discuss the Tree Trail. It was a very positive meeting and some exciting ideas about how to best present the information came up and will be further researched. I went away feeling that my efforts were appreciated and of some value in pushing this idea forward. I’m now firming up the numbers, route and text. Hopefully by next spring the Trail will be launched, including some fun elements for younger children as well as some interesting local and other facts about the 20 or so trees that will feature. Wwe are planing the route so that it takes people to the extremities of the gardens here, sometimes areas that they wouldn’t normally head for.

As I left,Gardener Rebecca presented me with a new pair of boots, as those I’ve had before are very much in need of replacement. A nice ‘going away present’! I wish all the team – staff and volunteers – at Blickling a wonderful three months!

Further Information:

Blickling Hall website

Blickling Hall Facebook page

A 360 degree tour of Blickling Hall

Old School Gardener





Yes, I know that we are still enjoying this year’s show, but now is the time to make a note/take a photo of what has and hasn’t worked and adjust next autumn’s list accordingly. For example, like nearly everyone I know, I was seduced by the buff/soft grey shades of Belle Epoque, but other than…

via Choosing Next Year’s Tulips — The Enduring Gardener


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