Kevin Sweet's June Gardening Blog

Can you believe it's June already? Halfway through the year!

I'm glad to report our summer bedding displays are out and growing beautifully, which is great news as we are just a few weeks from our 2019 NGS Open Day, on Sunday 23rd June! (We hope you are going to join us)! 
This year, for the first time, we are really pleased to welcome Weald Crafts Market, so a great opportunity to see the gardens and do a little shopping at the same time.

Did you attend one of our hanging basket workshops? If so, we hope you enjoyed the afternoon as much as the team and I did! It's such a wonderful way to spend the afternoon, being creative and then eating cake!
There were many different designs which all looked great and I am sure will give enjoyment over the summer months.

Moving forward, one of the jobs which takes up a lot of the Estate team's time in the Summer is grass cutting! However, as many of you will likely agree, there's something extremely pleasing about the nice straight lines on the grass.
We seem to have a running contest between the staff to see who can get the most perfect finish! 
Don't forget, as we head into some very dry weather be careful with watering. We water our baskets and containers three to four times a week and always do it first thing in the morning before the sun gets to high! 

Excitingly we are also awaiting some extra nature-friendly accessories for our walled garden from Warners Distillery. Their Chelsea Flower Show garden was great and we're excited to welcome them as the host of WORLD GIN DAY, 8th June, celebrations, at the Gin Masterclass & dinner! You do not want to miss out on this fantastic evening! Click Here for more information. 

Wildlife in the Park

Our bee hotels are filling up nicely with a lot of activity from the solitary bees. We are growing more bee and insect friendly plants this year to encourage more wildlife (great hints and tips were shared at the Sussex Wildlife Trust coffee morning at the beginning of the month, read here). Even just leaving a shallow saucer of water on the ground has bought in more birds.
Amusingly a certain squirrel has found the bird feeders and has even worked out how to get the top off the peanut feeder! 
We are also trailing some new peat-free composts, with the aim of being a sustainable as possible, as well as new straw mulch which we are using in the walled garden (we will report back on the results).

Lastly, before it's too late this year, it's still worth visiting our Bluebell wood (although there are not as many as before) it is a peaceful walk amongst the trees and you have a good chance to see a range of wildlife including deer and foxes.

Garden Tips for June

1.    Protect ripening soft fruits from the birds.
2.    Keep newly planted baskets & containers watered (a little but often is best before the sun gets too high).
3.    Keep borders hoed to keep weeds down.
4.    Prune spring-flowering shrubs.
5.    Stake tall and floppy plants to prevent wind damage.

Happy Gardening
Kevin Sweet