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Plums and damsons now bursting into blossom

The blossom season is so joyful, so it was lovely to share it with visitors, and we have decided to open again next Thursday in advance of the full season starting on 4 April. The pink peach and nectarine and white apricot blossom are still beckoning the pollinators, sheltered against the warm walls of the kitchen garden. And now flowers are also opening on the local historic plum varieties and the self-seeded old damson trees.

Huge amounts of clearance, prep work and tidying were achieved in the walled kitchen garden and the first early potatoes were planted. In the Italian Garden, volunteers weeded the borders, focusing on getting rid of as many garlicky alliums as possible before they set seed and spread further (needless to say, there are a lot more still to go at!). The croquet lawn had its first cut of the year. And the Japanese style garden was tidied and tree guards strengthened against the marauding deer.