Kevin Sweet's April Gardening Blog

What a lovely few days of weather we have had. It’s this time of year when all seems brighter and a bit warmer. The gardens are beginning to fill with some spring colour as the show of blossom begins! 
The giant Rhododendron has begun to bloom too, not long and we will once again have the amazing wall of pink! It's such a stunning sight.

In the recent storms, particularly storm Gareth, we have lost a few trees due to the very strong winds. The team and I have been kept very busy clearing up these and the smaller pieces of debris; at times it can seem like a losing battle but we got there and can now focus our attention back to the spring prep. We have been planting new trees, clearing more of the Sunken Garden and Secret Garden ahead of adding seasonal bedding plants.

In our main glasshouse, we have started a small collection of carnivorous plants which you are welcome to view. We have a propagation plan for this year to increase our plant stock both tree, shrub and indoor plants which is exciting.

I would like to take a moment to say thank you, to the guests who have stopped to talk with me about the work we do in the gardens and grounds. It's always a delight and is wonderful to exchange ideas with other green-fingered individuals, there's always the opportunity for something new to be learnt, some ideas over the years have worked for us here at the park; others with fewer results.

Wildlife in the Park

As you may already be aware, we have up-cycled some old materials into bee hotels and bug houses, which are up in the Walled garden, we also put a larger bug-hotel on ground level in one of the borders and to my surprise the other day I found a tiny field mouse had taken up residence.
As the days get longer you tend to see more of the local wildlife, it is well worth in taking some time out in the morning or later in the afternoon to enjoy what’s around us. Wild animals, particularly the deer tend to be more active and out and about nearer to dawn and dusk. I saw a number of deer grazing on the old orchard the other morning, they're fascinating to watch.

If you are interested, like me, in the local wildlife add this date to your diary: Sussex Wildlife Trust Coffee Morning, Wednesday 1st May.
I'm really excited for this coffee morning, as it is being hosted by experts of the Sussex Wildlife Trust and they will be talking about Wildlife Gardening, ways in which we can all help in little ways! 

April's Gardening Tips

1. Start cutting lawns on a higher cut   
2. Start feeding house plants    
3. Mulch shrub borders with compost/ chippings    
4. Think about installing a few new or extra water butts around the garden; there's rainfall to catch now which will be invaluable if we have another hot summer
5. Add protection for seedlings and new shoots against slugs and snails

Final Note, the places at our Hanging Basket Workshop & Afternoon Tea events are selling, make sure you book your place soon to avoid disappointment!

Happy Gardening!

Kevin Sweet