Early Spring in the Abbotsford Gardens

14th Apr 2020

Although Abbotsford is closed to the public our gardening staff have been busy tending the Walled Regency Gardens, working alone in shifts and taking all necessary precautions.
Head Gardener Tim shares the early spring planting and preparation work the team have been doing to keep the gardens looking their best for when we re-open.

Tim prepares a border in the Kitchen Garden

With the arrival of Spring one of the first tasks we had to do was transform the borders in the Kitchen Garden that had been left fallow for a couple of years after some problems with bindweed. The planting has been a mixture of ornamental trees and shrubs and perennial plants. The shrubs we’ve planted include ‘Photinia × fraseri 'Louise'’ with the red leaves and ‘Amelanchier lamarckii'.

‘Photinia × fraseri 'Louise'’ with the red leaves and ‘Amelanchier lamarckii'

The photograph below shows Magnolia grandiflora, Viburnum tinus 'Eve Price' and Viburnum x carlcephalum.

Magnolia grandiflora, Viburnum tinus 'Eve Price' and Viburnum x carlcephalum

The next photograph shows the spring flowering bulbs that are starting to come through, including Puschkinia Libanotica and Chionodoxa in the background.

Puschkinia Libanotica and Chionodoxa in the background

Muscari Dark Eyes have been planted in the Morris garden, also called the South Court, to naturalise in the grass banking, pictured below.

Muscari Dark Eyes

Similarly, the Anemone Blanda White Splendour in the next photo was planted last autumn to naturalise in the wooded area below the Gardeners Cottage.

Anemone Blanda White Splendour

The garden team are currently sowing seeds in the form of a variety of vegetables and companion planting which consist of Cosmos, Dahlia, Zinnia and Rudbeckia. Other annuals sown are Cleome, Nicotiana and a variety of Sunflowers with others awaiting sowing directly into the ground including a variety of Cornflowers and Nigella.

We have also overhauled the vegetable plots in preparation for this year's growing season. We created a series of defined vegetable beds and walkways to make sectioning and weed control easier to manage, particularly as we avoid using chemicals in our gardens.

Instead of plastic, we’re using a cardboard base covered with bark chippings to create our nature-friendly paths for the team to use as they tend the produce, which will be used in Ochiltree's cafe, in our Visitor centre, when we open to welcome you all to Abbotsford again!Cardboard paths in Kitchen Garden

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