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January 2020 – Gardens

6 Feb 2020

Our Head Gardener, Jonathan, reflects on January

A walk around our gardens at this time of year will awaken your senses thanks to plants such as the Witch-hazel and Viburnum bodnantensi (near the pergola in the Millennium Garden) with their incredible scents. There are quite a lot of highly scented plants in flower at the moment, especially around the Corten Infinity Garden (opposite Hootz House). Follow your nose to the winter-flowing honeysuckle although don’t expect to see a climber, it’s a medium sized shrub. And opposite Five Cottages there is a Daphne with an exquisite scent which will knock your socks off!

The rainfall may have been intensely heavy but for a short period, meaning that we haven’t lost too many days working out on the gardens. The rain affected the bottom of the Millennium Garden which was underwater along with a lot of the island and the bottom of the Wave Garden. Many plants on the island were under water for several days but, thankfully, the water levels are dropping quickly. That said, we can’t be sure how many plants we have lost as a result, so as soon as we can we will assess what work can be done to reinvigorate the area.

For a cheery splash of colour take a walk through the Wave Garden. Its winter-flowering cherries and snowdrops present a lively tableau of seasonal hues. This area requires particular care on account of poor soils. The soils benefit from plenty of leaf mould so we blow as many leaves as possible on to the beds to compost there and help the snowdrops in subsequent years.


January is a month which calls for lots of little gardening jobs such as pruning, repair work and – most importantly – planning for the year ahead.

If gardening is a passion of yours why not consider volunteering with us? Or take advantage of our brand new schedule of special events which includes a number of seasonal garden walks and talks – keep your eyes peeled on our events page from 29th February. Remember, they book up early and places are limited so be sure to secure your space!