February in the Garden
I say came home as the exhibition is a culmination of a few years’ work by artists and craftsmen who used the wood, including the sawdust, from just one oak tree felled at Tatton.
The exhibition which, if nothing else, reminds you of just how wasteful we are. Whatever happened to the paperless office? The packaging of consumer products continues to be ever more wasteful eating up thousands of tons of wood pulp - apparently it only takes a few pounds of shavings to make an evening dress! It’s a fabulous exhibition so if you haven’t seen it, don’t miss it - it’s one of the best I have seen for years.
Apparently the little acorns the children grew from the original tree grew and they were able to plant a replacement in the park at the start of the exhibition.
These last few weeks we have been doing quite a bit of planting in the orchard garden. While the weather has been kind we have been able to plant quite a selection of apples, pears and other wall fruit similar to those grown at the turn of the century.
One of the old hands who remembered quite a bit about the garden was Len Ross who spent some time at Tatton in the 1930s. He would regularly visit, just to check we were doing what we should be doing with the peaches or grapes.
Unfortunately Len died quite suddenly a few weeks ago, and he will be sadly missed. Even at eighty six he was still very active. I used to refer to him as the eighty six year old ‘boy’.
He always had a glint in his eye with his trilby hat at a jaunty angle on his head. He had worked at Eaton Hall and Regents Park and was well known throughout the horticultural ‘old boys’ network.
It was fortunate that we managed to put many of his past experiences on tape some years ago to form part of the garden archive. In a few weeks, when the peach blossom starts to bloom, it won’t be quite the same without Len’s first visit of the season to ‘check on us’!
SUMMARY IN THE GARDEN
Prune winter flowering shrubs - especially winter flowering heathers, trim with garden shears to remove fading blooms
Feed herbaceous border. Give a good dressing of well balanced fertiliser and fork in. Sow half hardy annuals under cloches for early cut flowers IN THE GREENHOUSE Start Fuchsias into growth - spray over with a fine mist of water
Sow sweet peas now for cut flowers in late summer Cut back old geraniums and repot IN THE VEGETABLE GARDEN
Cover ground to be planted with ‘fleece’ - spread it out and peg down to warm up ground for use, it could make the difference of two weeks earlier for cropsPlant garlic - plant bulbs two inches deep and six inches apart in rows eight inches apart Sow lettuce under cloches for an early crop.