May 2020 – Gardens
4 Jun 2020
Gardens transitioning from spring to summer
As May has come to an end with records in sunshine, temperature and lack of rain, the gardens are looking, dry and parched, more like they would in August. The lawn areas and plants that came into flower like the allium ‘Gladiator’ looked good but were very short lived and went to seed quite quickly. The foxglove tree looked amazing this year and with its big leaves it’s a great feature tree for any garden. The irises worked really well this year and there was a good succession of flowering. It started with the purple ‘Langport Wren’ followed by the maroon of ‘Kent Pride’ which works so well with the Corten steel in the Corten Infinity Garden. The last iris to flower was the chrysographes black iris which is more of a dark purple. There were a few gaps in the beds so in the last couple of weeks I have been doing quite a bit of planting but, because of the heat, I have had to water a lot.
I am very happy with the Wildlife Habitat Garden at the moment, as there is a lot of colour however, there is still a problem with the bunny! I saw the rabbit the other morning on Five Cottages lawn, so I now need to check my fence lines as he appears to move around the park. The foxtail lilies looked good and loads of the salvias are in flower due to the dry weather.
The Wave Garden is looking very dry, even the nettles are withering after more than six weeks with no rain. The comfrey has collapsed but will come back if we get more rain. There is a lot of work to do in this garden but it has always been a garden we work on in the summer months, as it provides welcome shade for gardeners.
The amsonia in the Millennium Garden, with electric blue flowers, are the first herbaceous plants to flower. This year the wisteria looked really good and didn’t get frosted, so the flowers lasted for longer. One large looming problem are the greylag geese, who have started coming into the gardens more due to lack of visitors. They really like certain plants and have decimated the young Molina grasses and the persicaria throughout the garden has been chomped.
The amazing Bluebell sculpture by Jenny Pickford, which we had on loan from her this year has now been packed up and I would like to thank Jenny as her artwork really enhances the gardens at Pensthorpe. We still have other pieces by Jenny on site, Archangel in the Wildlife Habitat Garden and the Arum Lilies in the old nursery pond.
Main image: Arum Lilies sculpture by Jenny Pickford (Steve Adams)