Kevin Sweet's December Gardening Blog

Many people may think that December would be my teams quiet time, quite the contrary. December is a very busy time for us in the estate department with lots of Christmas fun! 

We have put the first lot of Christmas trees up - the hotel is looking fantastic! We have also been busy making up Poinsettia displays and putting them throughout the hotel.
During the winter, those who have visited us previously will know that we have several fireplaces which are kept lit for guests to enjoy throughout the day. These require cuttings and logs which we source responsibly from across the estate. I've also been busy planning the plants in our gardens for spring and summer. 
The recent cold spell has helped remove the last of the leaves from the trees so I am now pleased that the task of leaf clearing is getting less.
I have noticed we have a lot of berries on our hollies and it could be a sign we may get a hard winter so do get prepared! 

In addition to the ongoing work, we had some great fun last week at our annual Christmas decoration workshop! I couldn't believe it sold out in the Summer, we love doing it and it makes us so happy that our guests love it so much too!'

'What is the Christmas Decoration Workshop?' I hear you ask. This is an afternoon of festive fun, kicking off Christmas at Ashdown Park. 
We welcome guests to join us for two hours to create a wreath and candle using foliage and winter blooms that the team and I source from across the Estate. Afterwards, we all went for a well deserved afternoon tea in the stunning drawing rooms. Book 2019's Decoration Workshop, click here for more details.  

If you attended or are interested in the Christmas Decoration Workshop, you will love the Hanging Basket Workshop & Afternoon held in the Summer.

Plant of the Month

This time of year, there is one type of plant which is a seasonal tradition at Ashdown Park, Poinsettias.
If you have Poinsettias, here are some top tips to keep them in the best condition this Christmas: 

  • Poinsettias can easily be damaged by poor handling and need to be kept at a temperature of 13 -15 degrees C.
  • Avoid positioning in a cold and draughty location.
  • Water sparingly, check the surface of the compost has become dry.
  • Remove any dead or faded leaves,
     

Garden Tips
1.    Clean up herbaceous borders and cut back plants
2.    Finish planting spring flowering bulbs
3.    Prune apple and pear trees
4.    Reduce watering and feeding of houseplants
5.    Protect tender plants from cold winds and frosts

I cannot believe I am writing this; from all of us at Ashdown Park have a very Happy Christmas and New Year!

Kevin Sweet