Kevin Sweet's May Gardening Blog

May is here! A busy time for the team and I, especially with the recent warm weather; everything has decided to get growing from the grass to plants and trees, of course not to forget all the weeds! 

The Spring plants are looking AMAZING, our VERY large and GLORIOUS pink/red Rhododendron on the main lawns is at its best this time of year and the Bluebells, in the aptly named Bluebell Wood, are giving a good show!

During April we made up our hanging baskets and have been planting up containers with summer bedding plants. With the upcoming hanging basket workshops on the 22nd and 23rd May, preparations for these are also well in hand. (If you've not booked your tickets yet, please do so soon to avoid disappointment! The workshop is followed by a delicious traditional Afternoon Tea.)

NEW for 2019, we are trialling new plant pots made from rice husks, which are more environmentally friendly and sustainable than the standard plastic pots. After use, they can be crushed and put on the compost heap where they will rot down with the rest of the compost waist! Other pots we use are made from coir which again can be added to the compost heap to rot down.

Wildlife in the Park

I have recently seen a number of young fox cubs around in the mornings especially on the driving range; they are not as wary as the mature foxes but will soon learn to keep cover. I've also noticed an increase in deer activity during the day, I expect we'll spot some fawns soon!

Spring in general really is a lovely time of year for nature watching. To try and encourage the local wildlife we've put nesting materials out and a feeding station in the Walled garden which includes trays of fresh water for them to drink and bathe in. It's great seeing the birds getting nesting materials and general using the area. We have also noticed some bee activity at our ‘bee hotel’ (the one we created earlier this year) which is really encouraging.
Further to supporting the local wildlife as much as we can, we have purposely sown and planted bee and butterfly friendly plants in the gardens.

Garden Tips for May

1.    Plant up baskets and containers with summer bedding plants
2.    Stake and support young growth on herbaceous plants
3.    Keep weeds under control before they start to take over
4.    Check plants in containers do not dry out and start feeding
5.    Cut lawns a little but often so as to encourage strong and healthy growth.

Happy Gardening!
Kevin Sweet