Wednesday, November 30, 2011

An Apology

I have been unable to keep the garden diary up to to date for the last three weeks due to an internet connection that has been ridiculously slow and unreliable.

We will be moving onto the new National Broadband Network soon and hopefully this will finally give us a reasonably fast connection.

In the meantime I will persevere with the inadequacies of the old system and will attempt to update the blog when I can.

Monday, November 7, 2011

What's Blooming This Week?

The first flush of roses is in full swing and The Cutflower Garden is entering one of its most productive phases, providing huge bunches of flowers for the house.

This is Hot Cocoa, a relatively modern floribunda which created a sensation when first released in the early 1970s.  It has stood the test of time and has entered the list of all-time favourites. It has vicious thorns and little fragrance but the sheer abundance of blooms and unique colour makes these attributes forgivable.

The blooms vary in colour depending on the temperature, ranging from orange-red through dusky coffee colours often with  undershadings of purple.  To see more about The Cutflower Garden click here

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Seasonal Vegetable Planting in the Espaliery

Peter Marshall planted this year's tomato crop, replacing the broad beans. This is an ideal crop rotation as the beans are legumes and have added nitrogen to the soil over the winter. The tomatoes went into beds 1B, 4D and 4C. Basil will be planted into these beds next week.

Peas were planted into bed 1A last month. Beetroot was planted in Bed 3B, alongside the existing asparagus patch,  several weeks ago, along with radish seed, French sorrel and land cress.  Basil,  coriander and chili were planted in Bed 1C along with existing silver beet.  Zuchini and mizuna planted in bed  2C alongside existing horseradish.  Radish seeds planted into Bed 3A with cucumber to be added asap.  Asian vegetables are planned for bed 2B.  Salad greens, snow peas and climbing beans are to be planted in Bed 2D.   Additional climbing beans can be planted into beds 3C and 4A alongside existing rhubard clumps.

Bed 2A is fallow this season, with all weeds and finished crops being composted in that beds.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Pollarded Plane Bursts Back into Life

Around Mid-Winters Day we pollarded the plane tree that lives in The Main Courtyard.  Since then we have been waiting to see how it will come back after such a vigorous pruning.

Over the intervening four months, the trunks and branches continued to thivcken and the bark began decortication. In the last two weeks, the pollarded tree has produced masses of new shoots.  Success.

The tree will now be pruned each winter to maintained this structure.  Over time the pollard will develop into a magnificent sculptural feature as well as providing much needed mid-summer shade just where and when it needed.  Pollarding is a technique we will explore further in these gardens along with our increasing emphasis on espaliers, topiary and niwaki.