Tag Archive: dell


I joined the Wednesday volunteers for my latest session at Blickling. The task? Planting around 400 Hellebores in the Orangery Garden and Dell!

I seems like an annual ritual as we put in a large number of new plants…these add to those previously set down, a number of which don’t seem to  survive, especially in the Dell, where it’s probably rather dry on the banks.

The Orangery Garden has a woodland glade feel to it, as there are a number of large trees providing shade and a woodland habitat. Here the Hellebores seem to do better, and in my opinion, look better, as they’re in groups by colour range and make a big impression alongside spring bulbs just coming into flower such as Snowdrops.

In this area the Daphne bohlua ‘Jacqueline Postill’ was also in flower, and more importantly, in scent. It’s heady fragrance permeated the garden and visitors all remarked on it.

The planting here was a little easier being on level ground. after lunch we set about planting in the Dell where it ‘s a different story. Steep slopes are the main planting area, but here the impact is rather less, as the plants are spread out and dotted in amongst other greenery and fallen leaves, so the flower colour is rather more muted.

I wonder that the practice of replanting every year is continued, as nature is surely saying something about the choice of location, if so many don’t survive. Better to plant other things that tolerate dry shade, perhaps; e.g. Cyclamen hederifolium?

Further Information:

Blickling Hall website

Blickling Hall Facebook page

A 360 degree tour of Blickling Hall

Old School Gardener

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Blickling Hall and The Parterre looking splendid in a low winter sun

Blickling Hall and The Parterre looking splendid in a low winter sun

I worked with the ladies away from the Walled Garden in my latest Blickling session. The Dell was our target- a bit of ‘TLC’ with light weeding and clearing dead stems and leaves to reveal the wonderful Snowdrops and Hellebores.

Head Gardener, Paul tells me that the slopes here are not conducive to the Hellebores rooting, so its an annual task to plant up new ones. Paul says some terracing is needed. I think this would need to be done quite subtly, as it could spoil the natural look of the space.

We worked around the sloping sides of the Dell – well I kept to the top path and the slightly less pernickety areas. The lady volunteers seem to have the finger skills and eyesight needed to tease out the weeds from around the plants and at one stage looked like (in the nicest possible way), a herd of mountain goats stretched up the slope. I contented myself with the more straightforward leaf raking, limited weeding and path clearing work above, as well as emptying weed-full trugs into the waiting trailer.

A major milestone has been reached this week in the walled garden. Project Manager Mike reports that all of the metal posts (76 of them in total) have now been installed, so we now wait on wires going in and then fruit tree planting in a few weeks time.

Posts all in- 76 have been set into concrete around the walled garden. Picture Blickling Estate

Posts all in- 76 have been set into concrete around the walled garden. Picture Blickling Estate

Oh, and my wife and I paid a visit to the gardens on Sunday, where we indulged in one of the restaurant’s special Valentine’s Day Cake Platters…

WP_20160214_15_32_46_ProFurther Information:

Blickling Hall website

Blickling Hall Facebook page

A 360 degree tour of Blickling Hall

Old School Gardener

 

The Dell, Blickling- scene of this week's voluntary push..

The Dell, Blickling- scene of this week’s voluntary push..

I had a varied menu of gardening at Blicking this week…

I began with some ‘rescue pruning’of some old Espalier Pear trees on the orchard wall next to the Walled Garden. These hadn’t been pruned for some time and had put on a lot of thin growth (and some thicker, more rangy branches) in the past year or two. Working with Mike, Project Manager of the Walled Garden, we also tidied up the beds and paths near these old specimens and it now presents itself as ‘looked after’.

Mike was telling me there’d been a problem with something nibbling the newly emerging tulip leaves in the Walled Garden raised beds- pheasants were the suspected culprits! A few sheets of ‘Enviromesh’ over these was now adding some protection. I mulched around these with some shreddings to create walkable paths and finished off with the same treatment around an old Mulberry Tree in the corner of the garden; this will keep weeds down and moisture in over the growing season to come.

'Enviromesh' keeping the Pheasants from the Tulips..

‘Enviromesh’ keeping the Pheasants from the Tulips..

After lunch I joined the rest of the volunteers in ‘The Dell’, which lies next to the Winter Garden I’d been helping to tidy up in previous weeks. The Winter Garden was more or less finished (bar planting out some new Hellebores) and it looks splendid in the low afternoon sun, with the flowers of Witch Hazel, Daphne, Sarcococca, Snowdrops and Hellebores standing out against the cleared and ‘tickled’ dark soil- the fragrance of the Daphne is especially memorable.

 

The Dell is a sunken garden with different interest. Heavily shaded, and quite steeply sloping in places, it is home to a collection of ferns, evergreen shrubs and other such plants. We pruned some of the hollies back, tidied away on the slopes, pruning back dead stems and foliage, and of course removed- you guessed it-  more leaves!

 Further information:

Blickling Hall website

Blickling Hall Facebook page

A 360 degree tour of Blickling Hall

Old School Gardener

 

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