Tag Archive: hyacinths

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





Back to Thursday, this week at Blickling; it was good to see my fellow volunteers, who haven’t been with for a few weeks…so there was much catching up of news as you might imagine.

Most of us were sent off to the Walled Garden, where I was very excited to see the fully (well nearly) installed cold frames…what an impressive sight! They are just awaiting a set of stays to make sure they can be lifted fully open and propped whilst plants are placed in and out.

Norfolk Pete, Jane and I set about lifting the bed of Penstemons that had been slotted in here last autumn. We transported them over to the potting shed where other volunteers and gardener Rebecca were trimming them, potting them up and planting cuttings to propagate.

These are the Penstemons that are used at the top of the Parterre garden wall to replace the purple hyacinths that are just now coming into bloom. As I’ve been at Blickling for just over a year, I’m beginning to get the annual routine that affects much of the gardening activity here (and most places for that matter!); you may recall that a few weeks ago I was (once again) planting out Hellebores.

After lifting the Penstemons, Peter and I dug over the bed, leaving me a little time to help finish off the potting up. And as there were some hyacinths on sale I bagged eight and have slotted these into a border at home where some of last year’s were also put…sounds like I’m repeating myself?!

Further Information:

Blickling Hall website

Blickling Hall Facebook page

A 360 degree tour of Blickling Hall

Old School Gardener





wp_20161020_09_34_22_proI could only manage a couple of hours at Blickling this week. But it proved to be a rewarding time…

Arriving earlier than  the other volunteers (for once), I saw Assistant Head Gardener, Steve and set about digging over the remainder of the border where the Penstemons had been lifted a day or two earlier. This border, overlooking the Parterre and with the classic Blickling view towards the lake, has a splendid position, and it was still and peaceful as I made my way along the border, pausing occasionally to soak up the surroundings and watching a friendly Robin on the prowl for grubs.

Dug over, ready for Hyacinths

Dug over, ready for Hyacinths

This border is now being readied for the annual planting of masses of blue Hyacinths which make a glorious show in spring time. Soon I was joined by fellow volunteer Rory, a relative newcomer, who I had yet to properly meet. It proved to be an interesting chat as he turns out to be a local artist and art teacher (he shared some lovely pictures of his work on his phone)..and then I twigged…..asking his surname it all became clear- we have a couple of his lovely watercolours on our walls at home! These must have been bought 25 years ago! As we dug and chatted on a rainbow briefly appeared over the house and just added to the calm beauty of the place…


Rory digging from the other end...

Rory digging from the other end…

About an hour later we had finished and were asked to work with the ‘two Peters’ on clearing up some rubble and subsoil dug out and piled alongside the refurbished pump house near the lake- all part of the works for the Lake-source heat system being installed here.

Clearing the rubble...

Clearing the rubble…

It was a brief, if heavy-going, task as it involved piling rubble (mainly broken brick) into a barrow and shifting this uphill to the open trailer…I was glad to leave the boys to it after about 40 minutes…not sure what else they got up to!

And another shot of that rainbow...

And another shot of that rainbow…

Further Information:

Blickling Hall website

Blickling Hall Facebook page

A 360 degree tour of Blickling Hall

Old School Gardener

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