Looking Good in April
All hail the daffodil which is currently on parade in vast battalions throughout the gardens. Generally smaller flowering varieties have been selected for their flowering time, character and colour and happily they are bulking up nicely. In the future we hope that there will be fantastic floristic glades of the native species of daffodil in the Arboretum but at the moment they're looking good as they are.
I encourage you all to make sure you see the arboretum at least once in your lifetime but preferably on a more frequent basis so you can surround yourself with arboreal splendour and drink in the atmosphere. To get there, walk on the drive past the college, cross the River Lavant then walk on the track up through the park. A lot of work has cleared away the laurel understorey which is proving a revelation as new vistas appear and tree trunks are exposed.
Border news: Anne the border queen is juggling various tasks this month; she is staking the perennials as they grow as well as lifting and dividing those plants that have lost their vigour or are growing too large or in the wrong place. Big on her schedule this month is gapping up border displays and replanting new areas such as the rose border in the fruit garden. The rose border is now almost replenished with new roses and perennials - you'll note that the corners have been left bare because of remnant acanthus from the previous planting which is proving difficult to remove entirely.
Kitchen Garden report: Shaun the kitchen gardener has a list as long as your arm in April of jobs to attend to in his world of vegetables. He will be establishing training systems for gourds, beans and peas in the kitchen garden, sowing further crops, maintaining vegetable displays and cropping new seasons salad leaves. It will keep him VERY busy so no rain dances please as he and other gardeners would like some sun to work in this month. Early crops are growing nicely under cloches, spuds and onions are in and the vegetable frame has a lot in delicious crops to see.
The Woodies: Will and Stu, shrub tamers extraordinaire, manage the shrubberies and trees throughout the gardens as well as carrying out other gardening work. Consulting with each other, they make judicious cuts to keep the plants in tiptop condition. It's a big garden so there are a lot of plants to check as the clipped shrubs have now become a defining feature.