Ashridge Nurseries Blog & Recipes

National Gardening Week - from my garden

At last there has been some rain - a decent amount today and the forecast is that there will be some for the next few days. It means we don't have to go round the whole garden constantly watering.

With some beech hedging and country hedging recently planted it was essential that we water them, as well as some newly planted roses. Our rule is if we have planted something in the last year it really does get watered every few days in a dry spell - otherwise they do suffer and quite often die - our mantra is don't neglect the watering! Having said that it has been raining this morning and that means a day off for my wife from organising hoses around the garden.

We have been gardening a lot over the past five or six weeks, since isolation began, and our wheelbarrows are testament to our continuous improvement of the garden. We've even got a pull along cart with punctureless tyres, which is really useful as we often get thorns in parts of the garden at certain times of the year.


Our beech hedge has turned from a russet brown leaves a month or so ago to vibrant new green leaves - it really is a feature of the changing seasons:


The avenue of silver birch trees has seen the very last of the daffodils, however the new leaves on the birch have come into full leaf and look splendid:


My favourite gardening proverb is the chinese one about planting trees - the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago, the next best time is now! However, the bareroot season has now finished until next autumn, so no new trees to plant for the time being, but a good time to plan. We would like some birch, snow queen, or paper birch.

There is a plethora of growth in the garden, not least the lawns, however Plantlife's "No Mow May" is a great idea to encourage bees to gather nectar from the flowers on your lawn. What they recommend is having different cutting heights in different parts of your garden lawn. We've got a non-mown area for wildlife and other parts that are cut at different heights.


There are some tulips still going strong, providing some diverse colours around the garden - the great thing about tulips is that there are early flowerers and later ones, so that the tulip season can last from mid-March to mid-May. Our bulbs this year have been spectacular and keep on giving. The blackjack tulips we have in a container by our door are my favourites, a deep purple almost black flower.

Blackjack tulipsblackjack tulips


Armani tulips

We planted a variety of roses alongside our tennis court last year, and they flowered late last summer, and I have to say that they're looking really healthy this year.


At the front of our house we have two amazing climbers, both Madame Alfred Carriere, which has been pruned back and should deliver another mass of creamy white flowers throughout the summer.

I hope that you are all coping with isolation and really enjoying your gardens, especially as it's National Gardening Week

Mark Cadbury

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