Goodbye poppies

As the garden bids farewell to its poppy display, there's plenty of work to be done

Poppies make a riot of summer colourAs many of you may be aware, all the RHS Gardens planted an area of poppies this year to commemorate the centenary of the start of World War One. Here at RHS Garden Rosemoor, the site we chose was an area at the entrance to Lady Anne’s Garden where a previous bed of planting had become overgrown.

This was the perfect excuse to clear the site and start afresh, so the poppies were welcome in more ways than one. Once the poppies had gone over it was time to finalise the destiny for this site, and after much deliberation the solution presented itself in the simple form of extending the meadow behind to cover the site. This enabled us to keep the open vistas over Lady Anne’s Arboretum when emerging from the underpass rockery plantings; discovered when the original planting was removed.

Metal edging replaces the old stone kerbOn the surface this seemed a fairly straightforward task to undertake. It involved removing the stone edging kerbs and replacing them with metal edging, and re-grading the slope to make it a less steep gradient. This will make it much easier to cut the grass, but also enhance the open feeling and views over the meadow and arboretum.

Slope re-graded and re-seededIt turned out to be a slightly more involved process to remove the kerbstones than I had envisaged, mainly down to the fact that they were only showing about a quarter of their depth above ground, with the majority of the remainder embedded in 10 inches of concrete – oh joy! After two days of bouncing around on the hammer action breaker we had extracted three trailer loads of concrete and kerbstones. After this initial hurdle the rest of the job has gone very well, and we managed to sow the space with grass seed just before the recent rains.

After two weeks of warm damp weather the grass is growingEven though the resulting effect is a very simple and understated one, I am very pleased to see this spot finally resolved, with the added benefit of finalising one portion of the area to help kickstart the project we have planned for an adjacent site, stay tuned for news of this new exciting instalment!

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