April 2020 – Gardens

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22 Apr 2020

Our Head Gardener, Jonathan, reflects on April

The tulips in the Corten Infinity Garden are all looking great in full bloom. The Millennium Garden is off to a slow start due to the cold nights and lack of rainfall we have had over the past weeks, whereas in the Wave Garden it is full of lush green foliage with lots of blossoming trees and some of the daffodils are still in flower.

Every day I walk a part of the boundary checking river levels, fencing and of course looking after the long horn cattle we have here on site. As well as keeping up with the garden work, I am now having to water pots and the newly planted trees because the gardens have become so dry. 

I am still topping up the bird feeders and doing supplementary feed for the wild birds out on the farm and reserve, in support of Chrissie’s team as well as Richard, our Reserve Manager, who is sadly currently part of the workforce that has been furloughed and who would normally carry out these daily tasks.

There are lots of mallard chicks everywhere. They are a huge draw for our visitors, especially our families with little ones who absolutely love seeing the little chicks waddling around with their parents keeping them in check, so it is a shame that our visitors cannot witness this at the moment. But we are still hopeful that this won’t be for too long. We spotted eleven chicks in our old pond dipping area, just by the Millennium Garden, with me having to rescue four that had been left behind (mallards are notorious for not being the best of parents!).

Last Wednesday, along with the other staff who are still working to keep the reserve and wildlife in check, I spotted three wild cranes which landed out on the reserve. This is such a wonderful sighting as, you probably are aware, cranes have become a very rare species but there has been recent success stories to boost our spirits regarding these majestic birds.