As a business we are constantly evolving to ensure the very best experience for our customers. Just as we introduce new designs to our handmade pottery, new products in the gift shop and new food offerings in the cafe, the borders here change too to bring out their very best.
In 2008 we redeveloped the old shop then in 2010 the long traditional perennial border that is opposite the grand glass windows of the shop had a total replant and was widened to a depth of 7 meters. The intention was to create a focal point for the new shop.
The planting choices were rooted in colour, texture and a variety of heights. The tall layer was achieved using plants like Helianthus Lemon Queen, Rudbeckias, Inulas and Eupitorium. The mid layer contains Asters, Phlox and Helenium with the lower planting being Sedum and Salvias, to name a few. Dahlias are added each year to extend the season.
The overall effect of this long border is one of constant colour and interest from May through to the frosts in November, drawing the eye of the gardener and of those enjoying the outdoor space at our cafe.
Behind the scenes
The bananas have been moved to a brick outbuilding to ensure they escape the worst of the cold weather. Most work continues in the poytunnel, checking the overwintering plants for mildew, water levels in the dahlias and reducing leggy growth on the salvias.
Plant of the month
It all about seeds this month. We purchase our annual seeds from Chiltern seeds and order around 150 packets of seed from which we fill the 80m long by 7m deep border.
Resist the urge to tidy up too much this month. With the weather still cold, leaf litter is vital as habitat for small insects and amphibians and food for worms, who drag it into the soil, improving the structure of the soil.
Our gardening team is very small. Stephen is head gardener, when he is not making pottery, making cakes, serving in the café or helping in the shop. Nicky, a volunteer, does one day per week.
More help would be very welcome. Would you like to volunteer too, either on a regular basis or for one of our big plant outs?
You will be reward by being surrounded with wonderful people and plants, along with a cuppa and some fabulous cake.
Contact Stephen Baughan via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo Credit: Pixbay