Tag Archive: painting

An early start at Blickling this week, and the first hour was spent harvesting some second early potatoes; variety ‘Nicola’. I don’t know these but have been told they are pretty tasty…’Charlotte’ is my favourite and I’ve just harvested a good crop in Old School Garden (I gather our neighbours enjoyed them too while we were away in Australia).

After that and reconnecting with some of the garden volunateers I missed last week, I went with them to the Parterre, which is looking splendid at present. The two Peters were continuing to paint the metal tunnel in the Walled Garden, with just the top half to do..involving painting from a platform.

The jobs in the Parterre were edging the grass and weeding. A fan of edging (it’s second to hoeing of the garden jobs  in my book), I found some reasonably sharp edging shears and managed to complete the set of four borders (new volunteer Tim had done one already) before departing home…to continue to get the home garden back to some semblance of order…

Progress is being made!

Further Information:

Blickling Hall website

Blickling Hall Facebook page

A 360 degree tour of Blickling Hall

Old School Gardener







It’s nearly two months since I was last at Blickling and I was wondering how the place might be looking, as it’s getting into peak visiting season.

I had lots of catching up to do, but after a few weeks with very little floral colour it was wonderful opening the garden door and coming across the double borders in all their summer glory.

It was great meeting up with the gardening team of staff and volunteers. With the other chaps I went over to the Walled Garden and was bowled over with the sight that greeted me…fabulous summer colour and every area with something growing in it, including a wide range of fruit and veg, all looking very healthy.

And whilst away the metal tunnel that runs the length of the central path (erected and welded together just before I went away) is now being painted…something the ‘two Peters’ were tasked with continuing with their tins of black ‘Hammerite’ paint. It really does add great vertical interest to the garden and will look absolutely splendid as the apples hat have been planted alongside it reach up and over to create a fabulous ‘green walk’. I also noticed a couple more new bench seats set out on the side paths which add to the scene.

Fellow volunteer Chris and I set about weeding between the rows of various vegetables (including some rather vicious globe artichokes), mainly hoeing with the occasional hand forking out of any larger plants. This was relatively easy work on a pleasantly warm and sometimes showery day…it was good to be out in the open and tackling some physical tasks once more.

Another pleasing sight was the south-west quadrant of the garden , which was the last to be cultivated. a fine sward of grass in the shape of a key hole is surrounded by vibrant floral interest and all symbolically done to represent the Indian flag, to link in with an exhibition at the House about the Marquis of Lothian’s connections to that country.

The whole scene was quite a contrast to Old School Garden,which after six weeks of letting nature do her own thing, looked rather less neat and tidy, as you might imagine. Still, after a lot of urgent attention since returning from Australia, it is starting to look rather more cared for.

As I left a little early (together with a bunch of wonderful Dahlias from the Walled Garden), to get on with the clear up at home, it was nice to hear ‘great to have you back’ from a couple of the gardening team… it was great to be back.

Further Information:

Blickling Hall website

Blickling Hall Facebook page

A 360 degree tour of Blickling Hall

Old School Gardener







Hmm... a suitable case for treatment?

Hmm… a suitable case for treatment?

You can extend the life of a freestanding garden brick wall, provided it is still safe.

First, cap the wall top with a coping of engineering bricks, which are water resistant. alternatively use tiles laid on the slant, so that water easily runs off.

Next, cover nearby plants with plastic sheeting, then rake out loose areas of mortar using a wire brush.

Repoint the wall where necessary using a ready-made mortar mix to save time using your own. If the walllooks like (it is probably worth trying to match the mortar to the colour of the existing if you can, so for an old wall it might mean using lime mortar).

Finish off by painting on a silicone sealer to extend the wall’s life and stop algal growth on shady walls. To finish off you can apply two coats of masonry paint- there are plenty of colours available…maybe black or dark green to show off those nice foliage plants and flowers you’ll plant in front?

This approach can be used on freestanding walls, such as those used as garden boundaries. But if your wall forms part of the house and it’s exposed to the elements, then it’s wise to avoid coating it as it needs to ‘breathe’; repointing is the best method of  repair here.

The ultimate in painted walls- extend your garden with a 'Tromp l'oeil'!

The ultimate in painted walls- extend your garden with a ‘Tromp d’oeiul’!

Source: ‘Short Cuts to Great Gardens’- Reader’s Digest 1999

Old School Gardener




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