Thursday, 17 December 2009

Daffodil planting at Ebrington school

This morning Myself, John, Gordon and Matt, went over to Ebrington school. we had a few surplus Daffodils left and got in touch with Mrs Robertson one of the teachers there and she was very happy for the garden team to plant them in the school grounds. Every child from rececption to year 6 was involved and planted at least one clump of bulbs. the weather was very sunny but cold and the ground was very claggy! the children really enjoyed the morning and dug the planting pits with gusto.

The Hidcote team also really enjoyed the morning and I was tickled by one comment made by a young boy, which was about the digging spades we were using, he said " a spade a great peice of technology!"

Every child will hopefully remember which group of Daffs they planted, and watch them flourish for many years to come. Who knows one of them may even in the future go on to become a gardener at Hidcote. A great morning work.


Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Lovely Ladybirds

Today seemed quite a normal day, until lunchtime that is. For the past couple of hours we've been swamped with thousands of ladybirds! They're everywhere - crawling along window frames, nestling into our computer keyboards and flying pretty much everywhere you look.

We think they're harlequin ladybirds, but some have lots of spots, others only just a few. Some are red with black spots, others are black with red spots!

It's taken us all by surprise.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

The Great Plant Giveaway

Well it's that time of year again - which is great news for all garden bargain hunters. Our plant sales centre is offering a plant-astic three for the price of two offer on all of its plants (except the ever popular hellebores and newly arrived orchids). To top it off, all packets of seeds are an amazing half price!

So there really is no excuse to get your garden ready for next Spring.

Hurry while stocks last...

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Insect Inspiration

Something new is happening in the Old Orchard! The gardeners have been busy making a winter home for beneficial insects like ladybirds. But they need help as it's not quite finished yet.

We need these insects so that next Spring they can help Sarah, the Kitchen Gardener eat all of the bugs that munch through her vegetables.

So if you visit this Autumn and Winter, remember to collect things like twigs, cones, fallen leaves and feathers so that you can add them to our new insect home.

Autumn Glory

Finally, the rain has arrived today. However, the magnificent September weather has resulted in some stunning early Autumn colour. The Wilderness is leading the way with the Euonymus europaeus turning an eye-catching shade of pink. Not to be out done is the yellow Tilia cordata, growing just opposite the Euonymus.

If roses are more your thing, see the beautiful 'Gruss an Achen' while you can in the White Garden. As soon as the bad weather takes hold, they will disappear almost as quickly as they appeared.

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

It's a Jungle Out There

Last week two very special visitors set up home over in our Plant Sales Centre. The magnificent (almost life-size!) mother and baby giraffe, created by Zimbolic have certainly been causing a bit of a stir amongst visitors since their arrival. Hand crafted in Zimbabwe, the beautiful giraffe sculptures are made from recycled metal oil drums and provide the artists with stable employment and a safe workshop environment.

Other, more conveniently sized sculptures for sale include ducks, hedgehogs, herons and wart hogs! An ideal Christmas present for someone who has everything.

Autumn's Here

It's true. Autumn has officially arrived. The garden team have spent the day securing the glass panels to the front of the tropical planthouse. The panels are essential to protect the tender plants from the threat of winter frosts. The panels will stay in place until all chance of frost has gone - sometime during late Spring 2010!

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Don't Miss the Dahlias

As Autumn closes in and with the first frost forecast on Thursday don't miss the stunning display of Dahlias. The Red Border is living up to its name and is looking resplendent in the late summer sunshine.

But be quick. As soon as the frosts arrive, the Dahlias will be gone for another year.

Pumpkin Power

It's proving to be a bumper harvest in the Kitchen Garden's first year. Sarah and Jazz have just harvested over 45 pumpkins - just in time for our family Pumpkin Trail at the end of October.

Never tried pumpkin? Then visit our restaurant during October as the surplus pumpkins (of which there's sure to be a few) will be included in the autumnal menu. Delicious!

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Autumn & Winter Events

We're pleased to announce the return of our Autumn & Winter events programme!

Autumn has arrived (a little early this year I feel) so it seems like the perfect time to let you all know about the exciting events we have coming up over the next few months.

Ranging from refreshing winter rambles, to wine tasting evenings, to a selection of workshops - we have the perfect event to suit everybody this Autumn!

Details of all our events are as follows:

Autumn Ramble & Hearty Lunch
Saturday 7 November 9.15am – 2pm
£30 per person.

Winter Ramble & Festive Feast
Saturday 5 December 9.15am – 2pm
£30 per person

Introduction to Garden Photography
Friday 13 November 9.15am – 4pm
£50 per person

The Kitchen Garden – One Year On
Friday 4 December 10.30am – 2pm
£20 per person

Who was Lawrence Johnston?
Friday 27 November 10.30am – 2pm
£20 per person

Pudding Passions
Friday 20 November 10.30am – 2pm
£20 per person

Wine Tasting Evening
Thursday 12 November 6.30pm – 9pm
£25 per person

GreenGrows the Holly
Friday 18 December 10.30am – 2pm
£20 per person

Winter Wreath Workshop
Friday 11 December 10.30am – 2pm
£20 per person

Last Chance Santa
Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 December
£3 per person

Advance booking is essential on all our events!

For more information on our events or to book a place call the office on 01386-438333 or visit the National Trust website

Monday, 20 July 2009

Intoxicated bees

We are getting lots of concerned visitors worried about the bees that are feeding off the nectar from the Eryngium giganteum, commonly called Miss Willmott's Ghost!

The bees are very busy feeding on the nectar - making them appear drunk [as drunk as a bee!] and lazy, eventually falling asleep to sleep off their over indulgence. I quizzed Eric our resident bee expert and he reassured me that the bees suffer no long term consequences and actually benefit from the sugar content of the nectar.

The bees that seem to be the busiest around the Eryngiums are the bumble bees with a few honey bees also benefiting.

Just for your information Miss Willmott's Ghost is so called because the Edwardian garden designer and friend of The Major's, Miss Ellen Willmott, use to collect the seed and when visiting friends or clients would scatter the seed. With the Eryngium being a bi-annual, it would germinate and flower the next year, so therefore becoming known as 'Miss Willmott's Ghost'



Thursday, 9 July 2009

Plant Survey

Yesterday Franklin Tancock the National Trust Plant Collections Curator inducted Sally Oats our contractor to the property. Sally can be seen with a GPS device in hand plotting the position of all woody and herbaceous planting. This survey will enable future digital interpretation of our plant collection. Sally will be working at Hidcote two or three days a week for several weeks. This is very exciting for us, and we are looking forward to managing the plant collection in a more professional.

Statement from Franklin.
For many years it has been the objective of The National Trust to have a comprehensive record of the significant plants within its gardens and parks. This is no longer a dream but now a reality with the introduction of this plant database. It will improve the way we manage our collections and give a greater understanding of their needs. With your help we will begin to build the largest history of plants anywhere in the world for the enjoyment of future generations. The hope is that you will feel part of this milestone and enjoy the benefits of being able to share your information with your colleagues and fellow horticulturist everywhere. Franklin Tancock

Tuesday, 30 June 2009

What is that smell?

This has been the most frequently asked question this week! A strange aroma has been haunting the Rose Walk and car park over the past few days. And the culprit - Colin the new Composter.

The new digester that we have affectionately named Colin has been put into action and is now busy recycling our kitchen waste to make compost for the garden. The whole process takes as little as three weeks to complete with the first compost expected soon. However, Colin gets very hungry so Jim, our Kitchen Porter has been given the responsibility of feeding him fresh kitchen waste each day. Lucky Jim - or should that be lucky Colin?!

Vigorous veg

Wow! We don't know what Sarah's secret is in the Kitchen Garden but her beautiful vegetables just keep on growing and growing! Last Friday show the largest harvest of veggies going into the kitchen - just in time for the summer menu. Included in this mega harvest were a mix of salads, spring onions, beetroot leaf, rocket and various herbs including rosemary, parsley as well as the very tasty hot and spicy oregano.

Sarah's talents don't just end with veggies. She has also been busy growing sweet peas and cornflowers that now grace the tables in the restaurant. To top it all off, a vase of nicotiana, ammi majus, corn flowers and phacelia all grown by Sarah's fair hand is also on display for visitors to enjoy.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Beautiful beetroot

As the new Kitchen Garden continues to go from strength to strength, to celebrate its re-introduction the garden team are experimenting with a new planting scheme in the East Court Garden. Gone are the spring displays of violas and in come the ornamental beetroots! John, our Deputy Head Gardener is a little worried that they may go to seed too early if the sun continues to shine but their vibrant red leaves look fabulous at the moment.

The picture shows last years' pink theme in the East Court Garden.

Friday, 5 June 2009

Praying for rain!

Never thought I would be heard saying this but, "I am desperate for rain". This spring has been the driest I can remember in over 30 years of gardening. We have had no significant rain since the winter. The garden team have been very busy for over 2 weeks planting out our tender displays, and we need to water then in in order to give them the best possible start.

The stream that runs through the garden is practically dry. Phil who has worked at Hidcote for over 30 years says its only ever dried up a couple of times before and never in late May early June.

Let's hope we do not live to regret this, but please can we all do a little rain dance for the Hidcote garden team!!!



Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Champion Trees

We recently received the results for our tree survey carried out by the Tree Register - a group of enthusiasts that measure the largest trees within the UK.
We have 3 National Champions which are the Aesculus indica in the Lower Steam which measures 19m in height with a girth of 360cm.
Our second Champion is the Armenian Oak up in the Woody Wilderness, measuring 8m in height with a girth of 206cm. This specimen is in decline and we are presently propagating it.
Our newest 'Champion' is not really a tree because it is multi stemed, but the Registra has listed it officially. It is the Osmanthus yunnanensis syn Forrestii with a height of 9m and girth of 138cm.
We also have 19 County Champions which is a superb result when you consider within the county of Gloucestershire we have both Westonbirt and Batsford arboretums!


Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Sun glorious sun

What an amazing Bank Holiday weekend. The sun shone, the flowers bloomed and we welcomed a record amount of visitors. Sunday was our second busiest day ever - with just over 2,600 vistors enjoying the garden! It was amazing to see so many people here making the most of the glorious weather.

Our week long programme of Food Glorious Food events also got off to a great start with children discovering more about the art of gardening with our tomato plug planting workshops and seed giveaways. Let's hope we've inspired the next generation of Kitchen Gardeners.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Inspirational Hidcote

Congratulations Ulf Nordfjell on not only winning Gold at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show but also winning the prestigous Best in Show award. Ulf's garden successfully tied the knot between Swedish modernism and traditional English-cottage gardening. And his inspiration for this - Hidcote. Ulf said "This idea I had from Hidcote...The tall hedges and sense of enclosure are something the English love".

Hidcote can inspire you too!

The great tulip giveaway

No sooner have the tulips finished flowering than the garden team have been busy digging them up. To the surprise of visitors, the gardeners have been bagging them up and offering them as souvenirs of their visit. The tulips have quite literally been walking out of the garden! It's not too late to take home a piece of Hidcote, there are still some left but they're going fast. If you can't make, there's always next year.

Purple rain

Well it might have been a bit colder, windier and wetter than we're used to but it hasn't stopped the garden from turning purple. Yes, it seems that all things purple have started to flower. The wonderful wisterias were the first to start the trend, quickly followed by the amazing alliums in the Pillar Garden and more recently the unusual Foxglove Tree in the Orchard. Purple is certainly the colour of the month at Hidcote.

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Vegetables rocket

Well it's only been a matter of weeks, but already Sarah has been harvesting the first crop from the Kitchen Garden. The rocket has quite literally rocketed! A very proud Sarah handed over the freshly picked rocket to another Sarah (our Chef) for inclusion into the restaurant's seasonal menu.

Visitors will be able to taste the fruits of her labour as a tasty Pea and Rocket Soup will soon be appearing on the menu.

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Game, set and match

Final preparations got underway today to complete the new tennis court. The contractors moved in this morning, ready to lay the top surface. We are a bit nervous about the weather forecast for tomorrow - having seen that heavy rain is on the way. We're just hoping that rain won't stop play this time and that the court will be ready for visitors to play on in May. Fingers crossed...

New directions

At last - the oak posts marking each of the garden 'rooms' have been installed. The mammoth task, taking two people five days to complete marks the end of a project that thousands of Hidcote visitors will be able to enjoy. No longer will volunteers find lost souls wandering aimlessly around the garden trying to find the way out!

Sweet pea delicious

Oh dear, poor Sarah our increasingly frustrated Kitchen Gardener! Not only have the garden's resident population of wild rabbits dug underneath the fence surrounding the new Kitchen Garden, they have then decided that her crop of sweet peas were far too good to miss. Over the past few nights they have been happily munching their way through most of the peas. Luckily some still survive so all is not lost.

Garden full of handkerchiefs

No, we haven't been reducing our visitors to tears. Following the beautiful Spring weather we've been having the magnificent Chinese Handkerchief Tree is blooming much earlier than normal. The white bracts that the tree is famous for have been appearing thick and fast this week. If you haven't had chance to see the tree in all its glory, visit us soon as the display will only last a few precious weeks.

The garden has been full of early arrivals this year with the purple flowers from the wisterias in the courtyards also beginning to appear within the past week.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Hidcote book unveiled

If you're passionate about Hidcote, mark Friday 3 July in your diary. The renowned international garden writer Ethne Clarke will be launching her newly revised book 'Hidcote - The Making of a Garden' here on the Theatre Lawn.

Since the book was first published in 1989, Ethne has been busy delving deeper into Hidcote's history. The newly revised edition sheds more light on the garden as well as revealing more information about Johnston's other garden, Serre de la Madone in the South of France.

Join Ethne and Glyn at either 2pm or 4pm on the 3rd for a fascinating introduction to the new publication - followed by an exclusive book signing. A day not to be missed.

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Gardeners get creative

It's not everyday that our garden team get the chance to show off their artistic talents, but visitors were been amazed when the new hazel supports were positioned along the Rose Walk. The supports, designed for the sweet pea displays later in the year. were painstakingly woven by gardeners Gordon, Eric and Sarah. A surprised Eric remarked "They do look really good!"

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Blooming bulbs

As if by magic, the thousands of Narcissus in the Pillar Garden have sprung into life. The flowers are looking fantastic as it quickly becomes one of the most talked about areas amongst visitors.

Not to be left behind, the 14,000 tulip bulbs that were planted last autmn are also beginning to burst into colour. It is my favorite time in the garden as everything seems to happen all at once.

Lovely Limes

The garden team had to use all of their muscles last week when four very large European Lime trees arrived ready for planting. The trees, measuring in at a whooping 25ft high and with a root ball weighing over one tonne, were purchased from a nursery near Tewkesbury to replace some that failed in previous years. The new trees won't look out of place in their new home along the Lime Avenue (also known as the visitor picnic area), as they are believed to be at least 15 years old complementing those already growing.

The photograph shows James, one of our Gardeners, making the final adjustments!

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Who Needs An Easter Bonnet?.....

Come to Hidcote and have an Easter Muffin instead!

Julie the Cake Baker has been working hard to produce some yummy Easter muffins for us all to enjoy this Easter weekend!

So make sure you don't miss out - visit the Barn Cafe or Garden Restaurant for an "Egg-cellent" Easter treat!


Tuesday, 7 April 2009

No need to get lost

It will soon be almost impossible to get lost at Hidcote. We've just taken delivery of 40 oak posts, each engraved with the name of one of the various garden 'rooms'. The posts, which will replace the aging and at times completely missing, numbered stakes, will be installed in the next few weeks.

The new posts have been designed to complement the garden map and will really help people to find their way around and avoid the perennial problem of visitors getting lost!

The installation of the new posts has been made possible by a very generous private donation.

Swallow spotted

It must be nearly summer...John, our eagle-eyed Deputy Head Gardener, spotted the first swallow of the season in the garden yesterday!

Last chance to vote!

Did you notice the poll on this blog?
(right side, down a bit)
There are only a few hours left to cast your vote- what's your favourite season at Hidcote?

Voting has been furious and it's rumoured that fist fights have broken out between plant sales and catering team members, but we'll just leave that as a rumour.

More seriously, this poll was the first one, and experimental. If you were too late and didn't get a chance to vote this time, you'll have another opportunity soon. We may use the polls to gauge views on projects and the future of Hidcote, so keep checking this blog for updates, and post your vote.

You can send suggestions for future polls by commenting on this post. (Click on Comments under this post for instructions).

Monday, 6 April 2009

Apples and pears

It's all taking shape in the Kitchen Garden. The espalier frames which have been built by the talented blacksmith, Dave Broadbent are now in place and have had their protective coat of paint applied. Under the watchful eye of Sarah, our kitchen Gardener, the wires were attached and carefully tensioned, ready to support the new apple and pear trees.

Over the next month, 16 fruit trees will be planted. Each of which have been painstakingly grown by the garden team using graft wood taken from the original trees.

Garden gets green water

Our long awaited rainwater harvesting system was successfully commissioned last week. With the completion of the project, it will now allow the garden team to irrigate the thousands of plants using water that has been collected from our spring supply as well as that that has fallen as rain. We can now store a whooping 35,000 gallons of water, which will keep the garden watered for over a month if we don't have any rain at all this summer!

Saturday, 4 April 2009

Weeds in the Kitchen Garden?

Hurrah - the access restrictions surrounding the Kitchen Garden were removed this morning, allowing visitors for the first time to get up close and personal with the new plots! However, all is not as it seems....

Although the first crops are starting to appear above the soil, there are areas that look as though they are being taken over by a blanket of green weed . Panic not. This is actually mustard that has been specifically planted to act as a 'green' manure and weed suppressant. The mustard will be ploughed in later in the year to help fertilise the soil and improve its structure, therefore eliminating the need for chemical fertilisers.

Volunteers lend a helping hand

On Thursday an enthusiastic group of employees from the catering company 3663 worked alongside members of our gardening team to help with the continued rejuvenation of the Wilderness. During their team building day, the group prepared the tilth and afterwards sowed a special Cotswold seed mix to create a wildflower haven amongst the grass sward. The fruits of their labour won't be seen for another few seasons, but we hope that it will become an important habitat for insects and birds in years to come.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

The garden unwrapped

What a week it's been for the garden team. Now that spring is most definitely here, the winter wrappings are coming off.

The tree ferns in the Fern Dell had their first view of the spring sunshine today as the Hessian was finally removed from their tops. Earlier this week, the bubble wrap that had carefully protected the coping stones around the Bathing Pool was painstakingly folded away (ready for next winter!). Bubble wrap has become a close ally to the garden team who spend hours smothering fragile stone objects from the harsh winter frosts.

To top off this weeks' spring preparations, the iconic cordylines have been re-positioned in the Red Border. All ready to complement the magnificent display of spring tulips.

Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Celebrity Gardeners at Hidcote

Today we have received some exciting news. Three celebrity gardeners, Roy Lancaster, Sir Roddy Llewellyn and Diarmuid Gavin are kindly donating their time to help us with fundraising for the rejuvenation of the garden. They have each very kindly offered to host walk and talk evenings around the garden later this summer.

Roy Lancaster will be here on 23 June and Sir Roddy Llewellyn on both 9 and 14 July. A date for Diarmuid Gavin is to be confirmed. If you would like to join one of these celebrities for drinks and canapes followed by a walk around our lovely garden please contact or phone 01386 438333.

All we need now is some wonderful warm, sunny evenings!

Monday, 30 March 2009

The Italian Job

We've just started a really exciting rejuvenation project in our Italian House. We have lots planned for the coming few months (including the return of the landscape mural on the wall), but to kick start the whole project the garden team have been busy with some re-plantings.

To give the whole area an uplift the fern Woodwardia unigemmata has been planted, along with the sweet little daisy-like flowers of Rhodanthemum hosmariense. Kate has also planted the red flowering Clianthus puniceus, or otherwise known as the Lobster Claw Climber.

The picture shows what has been done so far...

Sunday, 29 March 2009

Toodle Pip Emily!

Hidcote bids a fond fairwell to Emily...

On Monday we said fairwell to one of our volunteers. Emily had been with us since the new year and has been working on our exciting tennis court project. She also created this blog for us!

Thank you so much for all your work.

Bon Voyage Emily.

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Mothers Day, A Bloomin' Success

Another buzzing day passes us all by in the Catering Department.

Mother's day has arrived yet again and we were all prepared for a busy day.

The sun was beaming bright on us all day and the pork was happily roasting away in the oven. We started with a relatively quiet morning in the restaurant giving us plenty of time to prepare for what we knew was going to be a busy lunchtime.

It was busy! Very busy!

It was so nice to see so many people enjoying their day out. It was especially good to see lots of people taking their Mum's out for the day and treating them to lunch.

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Spring has sprung

It's official. Spring has finally arrived. The first Chiffchaff of the year was heard singing away in the Orchard on Wednesday and the pink magnolia in the Stream Garden is now in full bloom. Although there aren't quite as many flowers as in previous years, the pink clouds always come as a welcome relief after the long winter.

Visitors earlier in the week were able to watch as the East Court Garden was transformed in front of them as 800 violas were carefully planted. It will take another few weeks for the 'antique shade' variety to be in full flower, but some are already taking advantage of the glorious spring weather we're currently having.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Plotting for success

Today marked a truly significant day in our history. Sarah, our Kitchen Gardener planted the first seeds in our newly developing Kitchen Garden. The planting of the Garlic 'Wight Cristo' seeds was officially marked by the obligatory eating of cake and drinking of freshly brewed filtered coffee.

To help visitors find out more about what Sarah's planning in the Kitchen Garden we're busy recruiting a team of volunteer Interpreters and Guides. With the help of volunteers, the area will really be brought to life. They will also be encouraging people to set up their own plot and giving helpful hints and tints for a successful harvest.

As we're always keen to complement the garden, our Plant Sales Centre have just taken delivery of a great range of gardening equipment and accessories so there really is no excuse not to grow your own!

Sunday, 15 March 2009

First day nerves

Well the first day of our main open season went without any major hiccups - which came as a huge relief.

Things in the garden are a little later than usual this year. The magnificent pink flowering magnolias which are normally in full bloom by now haven't yet flowered. We're all waiting in anticipation and hopeful that the spell of beautiful spring weather will encourage them on.

Some of our fruit trees in the Orchard received a hair cut yesterday when the RHS organised for their regular prune. The training day was a great success with the apple trees now feeling much better and well prepared for their late summer harvest.

The thousands of tulip bulbs planted last year have just started to peep above the soil so we've all got our fingers crossed for a magnificent display later in April.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

One decade on and still going strong......

Today was a very special day for the catering department, it marks 10 years of service to the National Trust by our Chef.

Sarah, fondly known as ‘Splat’ has been a part of the team at Hidcote for more than 10 years but has been on a full time contract for one whole decade, (that’s more than half my whole life!).

In true catering department style we decided we couldn’t let the moment pass without a little staff gathering to celebrate, of course it was to be a surprise which meant trickery and deceit...Wonderful!

In order not to arouse any suspicion we asked Splat to arrange some nibbles and Patricia (Property Catering Manager) prepared a short speech and purchased the bubbly!
Splat was suitably surprised and everybody had a lovely little time!

Thanks for all your hard work Splat, long may it continue!

As long as you’re looking good!

A facelift in true Hidcote style has taken place in The Garden Restaurant.

During the winter we decided that a little facelift was in order so Splat (our chef a.k.a Sarah) and I set to work!

Job one called for a lick of paint so we set to work with our rollers and brushes with a little help (actually quite a lot) from our trusty volunteer Chris and his friend we were finished in no time at all.

Job two called for special expertise and we had just the right person in mind! Plant centre supervisor and expert in all things arty Nicky was just the person to call upon for some advice and a helping hand, she was more than pleased to help. A little bit of sanding and a few coats of Antique white later we had a transformed dumb waiter. Beautiful!

Were getting there now, just need a few finishing touches, a few items from the Plant Centre, a beautifully dressed windowsill (thanks Janet) and some of Christine’s stunning original paintings of Hidcote (well worth a look) and as they say “that’s a wrap”

Isn’t it great what happens when we all work together!

Facelift Done!

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Today's deal: 4 seasons in 1 day

My favourite thing at the moment is listening to the woodpeckers tapping away at the big trees on the driveway.

This morning when I went out the sun was shining and the wind from last night had calmed to a gentle breeze, so I thought the forecast might be wrong again. Hail was forecast a few times this week, but didn't appear until about 2pm today, after a flash of lightning and rumble of thunder. It hailed for about 2 minutes, then snowed for about 5 minutes, and is now back to blue skies.

Monday, 2 March 2009

new hairstyle?

In recent weeks the Barn roof has been rethatched, it looks like a new hairdo, the under-cut style that was fashionable for a couple of years when I was at school.

There were plenty of people sitting in the sun having coffee on the weekend, and small iris reticulata were selling quickly. More about iris reticulata. walking on a beach.

First impressions from Ros when she came to Hidcote today, walking across the newly re-surfaced courtyard and carpark, done just last week in time for the opening. It is some sort of pea gravel, but I don't know anything more. It seems quite deep and very lightly coloured, but I wonder how long it will last with hundreds of visitors coming and going every week?

Saturday, 28 February 2009

Are headache trees a health and safety risk?

Last week the gardeners were chipping the headache tree, but does it cure headaches or cause them?

the garden is just waking up...

Today is the Hidcote's first open day of 2009, and it was nice to see people here early, ready to be the first visitors. The weather is mild and overcast, and the birds are busy making noises to wake up the garden.

Lisa was at work early this morning, making sure all the signs were out to show we're open, and answering phone calls from people who were checking the opening times. Pretty little flowers in pots are popular in the plant sales centre, and soup has been the order of the day in the restaurant, which is sending out lots of tempting smells. Glyn is taking a gardening group on a tour of the garden this afternoon, I wonder if they'll ask him lots of questions?

It's hard to believe that only a few weeks ago it was all covered in thick snow.