Tag Archive: orangery garden

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





wp_20161215_12_55_08_proSo it was the day of the garden volunteers party at Blickling this week. We spent the morning, though, raking and barrowing leaves from the Orangery Garden borders so that gardener Ed could ‘hoover’ them up into his giant leaf collector.

It was tiring work, moving between and under the shrubs and my aching hip didn’t do the distance without a short break…

Two and a half hours later, and after some interesting chats with fellow volunteers, we made our way to the new bothy in the Walled Garden, and what a spread awaited us!

Volunteer Pam setting out the food...

Volunteer Pam setting out the food…

After tucking in (the circulation space was a little cramped) we settled down to some conversation- it was good to meet up with some of the volunteers gardeners who come in other days as well as some of the garden guides too. Head Gardener Paul said a few words of thanks to all involved in the gardens this year and kindly gave us a card and bottle of wine.

And then  it was sing song time! Volunteers Chris (guitar) and Tressa (lead vocals) led us all in some carols to round off a very pleasing lunchtime.

'Sonny and Cher'?- Chris and Tressa lead the singing...

‘Sonny and Cher’?- Chris and Tressa lead the singing…

Needless to say no one was about to make their ways back into the gardens after that…still the Walled garden was looking suitably tidy in its winter garb. Here’s to another year of progress!

Further Information:

Blickling Hall website

Blickling Hall Facebook page

A 360 degree tour of Blickling Hall

Old School Gardener

WP_20150625_14_59_03_ProAnother two week break from Blickling, and this week’s session was hot, hot, hot!

Shorts (well, nearly), were the order of the day along with my new National Trust polo shirt. I joined the other volunteers in the Orangery Garden initially, weeding among the Hellebores and ferns, an area I’d helped tackle earlier in the season, but which now was awash with Foxglove seedlings.

Quite satisfying working in the shade and after a good shower of rain a few days before, working my border fork around the plants and leaving the odd seedling where there was an obvious gap. The ladies and I managed to clear one of the island beds just before lunch, and a couple of us then went over with gardener Rob to the Double Borders to continue filling gaps with Dahlia tubers, some not looking up to much, but we shall see…

The Parterre looking neat and with early hints at the colour to come...

The Parterre looking neat and with early hints at the colour to come…

These borders, typical of many British gardens at this time of year, have completed the first spring rush of fresh foliage and flower colour and are giving way to the clipped forms of shrubs and the more subtle colouring and tones that presage a  later summer riot of colour, which I look forward to seeing. To add a further bit of interest, there’s also currently a sculpture display in the gardens, featuring some lovely stained glass and various shells.

The garden team have obviously been busy in recent weeks filling the gaps left by the spring bulbs with a host of annuals, all looking ready to romp away. The plant that yielded most visitor interest while we were planting was the Beetroot (‘Bulls blood’) which had been cleverly grouped at the front of the borders and gives a really vibrant splash of red when the other colours around at this time are more muted. Well, we finished our planting task in good time as the warmth of the day reached its peak…

Beetroot 'Bull's Blood' causing a stir in the Double Borders

Beetroot ‘Bull’s Blood’ causing a stir in the Double Borders

And later I came along for another ‘roasting’- a most enjoyable ‘Hog Roast’ put on by the Trust as a ‘thank you’ for staff and volunteers. I had a good chat with Head Gardener, Paul and a couple of other volunteers, one who acts as a room guide in the House, the other as a guide in the R.A.F. Oulton Museum on site. There was a Jazz band and the food was scrummy too. 

Further Information:

Blickling Hall website

Blickling Hall Facebook page

A 360 degree tour of Blickling Hall

Old School Gardener


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