We have been working hard in the Hilltop Garden over the last few weeks, changing the layout and re-planting some of the borders to create a new Rose Walk which adds a little more formality to the Hilltop Garden.
This new feature will draw visitors to our Global Growth Vegetable Garden* which we hope to open in summer 2016. At the centre of this new Vegetable Garden will be a large octagonal Hartley Botanic Glasshouse that will be about 7m (23m) tall. The Rose Walk will line up with the centre of the glasshouse, which will act as an impressive focal point and will be an exciting new addition to the garden.
The Rose Walk runs parallel to our existing Modern Rose Garden and is lined with lavender on either side. Being on clay soil always makes it slightly tricky to grow lavender as they prefer free-draining conditions, but we have chosen a variety called Lavandula × intermedia 'Grosso' which is more tolerant of wetter and heavier soils and is now just about to come into flower.
New Yew, New Yew
New yew (Taxus baccata) hedging has also been added around the outside of the rose borders and we have planted a yew obelisk in the corners of the beds. This more formal element will mirror the green metal obelisks in the Modern Rose Garden and we aim to cut the yew into a similar shape as the pointed metal obelisks (which will be slightly challenging for those of us responsible for trimming the yew and forming the shape!).
The borders are planted with roses, and the colours mirror the existing Modern Rose Garden which is themed with the Herbaceous Border that runs alongside it.
There are three primary colour combinations, oranges and yellows, white and soft yellow, pink and dark red and the roses selected are varieties of Pemberton Roses which are classified as Hybrid Musks such as ‘Felicia’ as well as some English Roses such as ‘Susan William-Ellis’.
In the last two weeks we have also laid 250sqm (2,700sqft) of turf to finish the new Rose Walk. This is not the ideal time of year to lay turf due to the hot and dry weather, so if it is laid it must be watered copiously in its first 10 days to stop the rolls browning off and to enable the rooting process to begin. The turf is establishing well and has already had two cuts on a high setting.
To improve views and vistas through the Hilltop Garden we have also created a grass path, which offers new views from the Rose Garden east towards the Lower Pond. So why not come along and see progress for yourself - we'd love to welcome you.
(sponsored by Witan Investment Trust)