The Estate looks very spring like at the moment. Daffodils and Magnolias are on their final flourish, rhododendrons and azaleas are bursting into bloom. For me, Duke’s Avenue reaches its zenith right now, as the cow parsley reaches dizzy heights. It makes you feel you are anywhere but London!
Spring is a beautiful time in the gardens and on the lake. The Egyptian geese got off to a flying start, pardon the pun (they nest in trees). Meanwhile down on the lake the Coots have built their nests nice and high – in some cases the birds have chosen very prominent locations to show off their home building and parenting skills. We have a pair of swans but they are a bit shy with each other at present… My favourite viewing point is from the classic bridge, where you feel like you have a bird’s eye view of what’s happening below.
The Camellia Show was a fantastic success and the gardening team was delighted to have the support of the volunteers to help us showcase our historic plants. That said, we are far from finished with camellias. Behind the scenes, we are potting on our heritage blooms for future shows and to share with other historic properties. The team and I will be touring gardens in Surrey and Berkshire this weekend with the International Camellia Society UK branch, to meet fellow gardeners and improve our camellia knowledge. I’m rather nervous as the experts will be paying us a visit too as part of the tour. I’ll let you know how we get on in my next blog.
Finally I am feeling very excited to work for the Trust at such a historic time. The house and gardens are one! We gardeners can now go into the House to marvel at the Rysbracks and compare the gardening teams in the 18th century to us in the 21 century. Of course, back then they did not have mowers, hedge-cutters or chainsaws as we do now…
Enjoy, have fun and respect the gardens