The latter part of May has finally seen a departure from grey and wet to glorious warmth and sun. The summer herbaceous borders are taking full advantage of these conditions with accelerated growth and flower. Plants such as Geranium, Bergenia and Doronicum Austriacum are now in full colour.
Bergenia are unusually hardy plants able to survive extremes of temperature, minus 35c to +45c in fact and do best in rich moist humus soils.
In the walled garden our Thrive clients have been hard at work creating a new vegetable plot which now contains various varieties of potato such as Kestrel, Nadine and Marfona. This year our strawberry plants are full of promise and will no doubt make their way to The Vyne’s tea-room for you to try later in the season.
This season has seen the re-opening of the Summerhouse in the Summer garden after it’s internal and external restorations. It has had various uses over the years. A dovecote and in the 18th century a tranquil place to take afternoon tea are but two.
The seasons have been a bit confused this year. April seemed like June and June/July have been almost April like with unexpected heavy downpours. It certainly has made life interesting for all the gardening team here at The Vyne, not least trying to keep plants hydrated during the earlier part of the year. This is where good mulching technique and keeping a close eye on newly planted specimens comes into it’s own. Certainly that has been the case with our newly planted rose border in the West garden below. These fragrant roses are [Gruss an Aachen], origin 1909 [Floribunda], have done very well for their first year and have a wonderfully light sweet scent.
This year we have had Pied fly catcher’s nesting in the top of the wisteria which you can also see in the photo on this page, center of shot. Needless to say this has resulted in us foregoing pruning of the wisteria in order to give the birds a little piece and quiet as they raise their young.
The Hemerocallis [DayLily] and Bear’s breeches [Acanthus Spinosus] have been particular successes this year within the herbaceous border.
On our radar potentially for later in the season will be the lavender and rosemary to be replaced by fresh stock.
In the Walled garden fruit cages are now full to brimming with produce. Gooseberries, raspberries, red and black currents are picked regularly. Some of this produce is used by our talented chef in the Brewhouse restaurant to make among other deserts, very tasty fruit tarts.
We work closely with Thrive and their clients who regularly tend and look after the vegetable and fruit areas. The value of their hard work is evident throughout the garden. As you can see below, cabbages, squashes, onions and courgettes are on course to produce a good harvest for later in the year.
Weeding the various beds has been an intensive affair this year due to the wetter than normal nature of the weather in June and July. Mulching and use of horticultural membrane helps control some of this growth.
A firm favorite with gardeners, Sweet peas [Lathyrus odoratus] a legume and part of the Fabaceae family have been grown to add interest and scent. These can be used as green manure provided that they are dug in before flowering so as to prevent the nitrogen from being lost.
Our chickens have been quite a success for us in their first year at The Vyne. These Meadowsweet Goldline hens were selected for their hardy nature and good demeanor. They are also very productive in the egg department.