29th Jun 2020
The Walled Regency Gardens will open to the public every day except Sunday, 10am - 4pm, from Wednesday July 1, for a donation entry. We've been working hard through lockdown to ensure they look wonderful for visitors returning.
The produce in the kitchen gardens is coming along really well, with the fruit and vegetables thriving in the good weather, although recent high winds and rain were a bit of a worry.
The new organic paths – made with cardboard and bark – are working well, allowing us easy access to the plants. We have a wide range of vegetables, with our potatoes including first and second earlies, Shetland blacks and King Edward main crop. We also have red & green cabbage, swede, cauliflower, beetroot, courgettes and kale – so we’re hoping the café will be able to open soon so chef can do something creative with it all!
Alongside the vegetables we have been planting flowers to help with pollination and also to attract the insects that eat the pests, an important part of our organic pest control. These companion plants include flowering annuals Chleome and Nicotiana, Cosmos, Dahlias, Sweet Peas and Cornflowers.
In the herb garden, which is where our community groups normally do their work, we have used some branches, debris from a Scots Pine, to make a rustic practical frame to support climbing squash. We also think it looks very sculptural, like antlers!
Also in this bed we have planted sunflowers, but not the traditional yellow that everyone expects. Instead, later in the season, look out for scarlet red, pale yellow and variegated colours. They should provide a lovely contrast along the garden wall.
We have been delighted with the low growing Allium Schubertii we planted this year alongside the central path. They’re a lovely neighbour for the taller Alliums and look like an exploding firework.
The gardens are providing a natural haven for local wildlife. The bees are loving the Philadelphus and Photinia bushes, so maybe we’ll get plenty of Abbotsford honey this year.
We've also got some new residents - a pair of Mallard ducks that set up home in the midst of the Nepeta plants. The female duck’s camouflage works perfectly in this setting – you have to look closely to spot her!