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Spring in the gardens

19 Mar 2019

Astronomical spring approaches on the 20th March but this date does not actually mean a lot to plants. Temperature and day length are far more important, with the temperatures we saw in early March it has brought on a lot of plants and late spring bulbs very quickly. Plants like snowdrops had a good display although they were very short lived. The same occurred with the early daffodil. With the recent rain and normal temperatures hopefully, spring will reset itself and the later daffodils, tulips and snowflakes will last longer.

Spring does not just mean bulbs though, it is an awakening of a lot of flowering plants, for example the primroses in the Wave Garden and the hellebores around the Corten Infinity Garden and the Stachyurus praecox in the Millennium Garden.

Spring is an “existing time” at Pensthorpe, it’s all about the three P’s: preparation; planning; and planting. Preparation of areas ready to plant, planning is the propagation, sowing, potting or division of existing plants; and planting is putting all those plants in the ground.

In amongst the three P’s we are always ensuring maintenance of good plant husbandry, along with pest and disease control, although this not a big problem at Pensthorpe. The larger geese and muntjac deer do cause issues at times. The geese make nests and lay eggs at this time of year right in the middle of a border of grasses or plants. We find these nests in the most unlikely of places! (We have even had wrens nesting in our winter waterproof coats in our polytunnel!)

We have a brilliant programme of events throughout the year at Pensthorpe with a lot of these being out of hours which is a really special time to be in the park. The first garden event is a spring garden walk around our four gardens on Friday 12th April. You can join us for an afternoon of informative chat about the spring themed planting across all four of our gardens. Tea and cake is included in the price.

Visit our events page for further details and to book.


Jonathan Pearce – Head Gardener