All in a day's work...

All of a sudden we find ourselves in April, where did the first three months go?

We have been very busy in the garden preparing beds for planting, both in the formal areas and the woodland. Also, as we have got the Tour de France heading our way in July we have been busy with the Welcome to Yorkshire ‘Turning Yorkshire Yellow' campaign, which for us involves sourcing plants of all things yellow, whether that be leaves or flowers. I strongly suspect all gardeners on duty that weekend may turn out yellow too - so watch this space.

Andrew is very busy in the nursery with the propagation sheets, sowing seeds for our summer container displays. Last year we got caught out by the very, very cold, early spring, and we still had snow on the ground by Easter. No two years are the same weather wise and each brings its own challenges. This year, for instance, has been extremely wet, but I don’t need to tell most of you that, as you’ve been dealing with your own waterlogging probably. Some of our trees have succumbed to the high winds and have been badly damaged as a result of their root plates standing in water – when they’ve heaved over you can see what they have to deal with underneath.

We are just in the process of preparing our grass (still waterlogged in some areas) for the spring season; this involves tractors with rolling machines, spiking machines and slitting machines attached to help relieve compaction and ease the drainage, followed by people with spreaders fertilising the ground. Later on in the year we will be hollow tining (removing a small core) and adding sand so that we won’t have the same problems next year - It’ll be something different next year.

As I’m new to this job (Garden Manager) it’s all a steep learning curve for me, so when I’m tasked with ordering 20 tonnes of ‘calfloriferous’ limestone 20mm, I ordered just that. So imagine my horror when it arrived and the Woodland Team Leader said 'that’s no good it needs to be 20mm to dust!' The supplier said ‘ooh no I can’t take it back love, the quarry won’t accept it!!’ My strangled cries probably shattered both his eardrums and he relented and he took it back and sent us the right stuff – phew, it’s all in a day’s work.

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