We’re only a month into the new year and the signs of spring are starting to appear. This winter has been one of our wettest in years and has certainly restricted us in the work that we can carry out on the grounds - especially the grassed areas and shrub borders. We have taken this opportunity to improve some of the woodland paths by making them wider and allowing more light in, encouraging woodland plants to grow. Thankfully, we were very lucky not to have too much damage during the strong winds during early January - although we did loose some glass from the glasshouse!

Over the next few weeks we will be sorting out our summer bedding plant order and have already started to sow a few seeds in the glasshouse. We are planning to grow a selection of chillies and peppers this year that will be used in the kitchens.
On a side note, we will be holding our annual hanging basket workshop during May so book early as they tend to get over subscribed very early.

Wildlife in the Park

During last year, we made up a number of bee and insect boxes and positioned them around the Walled garden. I am happy to report that they are being used and the plan this year is to add some more, not only in the Walled garden but around the grounds. We already leave piles of cut timber and brush wood around the woods to provide some shelter for the wildlife so this will be extended with some bird nesting boxes as well as a few bat boxes.

Garden Tips

1. Prune fruit trees
2. Spike grass areas if conditions allow to improve aeration
3. Check outside containers to make sure they are not waterlogged
4. Check any over wintering plants in storage for mould or rot
5. Remove any heavy snow off shrubs to prevent any damage

Happy Gardening,
Kevin Sweet

Head Groundsman at Ashdown Park Hotel and Country Club