Red Admiral

At last a few more butterflies!

Between the showers today, the butterflies, bumblebees and a hummingbird hawk moth enjoyed feasting from the lavender. And volunteers and visitors enjoyed seeing them there! Why not come to our Open Day on Sunday and do your Big Butterfly Count at the Gardens? The details of the Count are HERE – it starts tomorrow and runs till 6 August.  The Gardens are looking fresh and green again after t ...

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Mr Toad seemed happy today

Save the date for our Nature Day on 18 June! The Gardens are such a lovely haven for local wildlife. Mr Toad seemed happy today, near the rill pond. A kind of nest in the long grass looked like it was made by one or more deer snuggling down for the night there. And last weekend volunteers came upon a grass-snake warming itself on top of the lavender hedge. Without the cloud, today was warmer and s ...

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We all love orchids!

The orchids on the bank are today’s favourite flower, but others are also looking lovely, in particular the waterlilies and irises and the roses. It was a very busy day for volunteers today, with lots of veg to be planted, weeding, edge cutting and strimming; and of course watering too, as we haven’t had any rain for a long time. Visitors chatted to volunteers at work and relaxed over ...


Blowing in the breeze

The Gardens are looking lush – so why not come and see for yourself on Sunday 21 May? The Handkerchief Tree (Davidia involucrata) is flowering beautifully this year – a particular joy as we thought we might have lost it to drought a few years ago. The blossom is still on the cherry and apple trees and the really tall crab apple by the Archive building has flowers up into the sky! In th ...

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Blossom and bluebells

What a lovely week it has been and our Open Thursday visitors enjoyed it as much as we volunteers did. Why not join us next week? The sun shone and the blossom and bluebells were stunning. The tulips were iridescent in the Italian Garden and there are the first roses there too and the solomon seal on its way. The wild areas of the Gardens are changing daily:  primroses and cowslips all over the pl ...

Sally Kington and Trustee Sue Gilbert with the Telamonius Plenus in the Lime Wood 24 March 2023

Which daffodil is this?

Today we were thrilled to show Sally Kington the daffodils in Lime Wood. She surveyed them in 2003, when she was the International Daffodil Registrar, and we think we still have most of the varieties she identified then! This one is the Telamonius Plenus, a double yellow, which was first recorded in England in 1629. Ours will have been planted as part of the Peto garden makeover in 1902.

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Here today, gone tomorrow

These iris are a joy to see as another herald of spring, but you have to snap a picture when you see them as the deer love eating them! We are also now seeing the pink pussy willow in the Japanese garden (Salix Mount Aso) and the first daffodils. Volunteers worked this week on splitting our snowdrop clumps and planting out snowdrops from our nursery bed to make for an even better show next year. W ...


Daffodil or crocus?

These sternbergia lutea, near the stumpery, are very confusingly known both as the winter daffodil and the autumn crocus! It is lovely to have such a fresh vibrant flower this late in the season. Visitors this half-term Thursday enjoyed den-building, our pumpkin trail, gorgeous autumn colours and took away with them jams and jellies, pumpkins and squashes. What a fun day.


Volunteers and visitors enjoying the cooler weather

After that mad heatwave, it was great to be able to get stuff done outside again! Watering particularly vulnerable plants was of course a priority – many of our favourite herbaceous plants can cope with the heat and of course the squashes and sweetcorn love it. So there is still plenty of colour in the Gardens and volunteers and visitors were treated to lots of lovely butterflies and moths. ...


Keeping cool

We have got a lot of work done this week, so the Gardens are looking good for this Sunday’s Open Day, when we will have a range of activities and music, in the shade, to take a moment to remember the Gardens and the surrounding area in the World Wars. We have been watering as much as we can, so there will be produce on sale too. We are lucky that we have lots of shade at the Gardens, so on a ...


Wild flowers as stunning as the ornamentals

We have been watching and waiting for the wild orchids to flower – and these bee orchids are as stunning as we hoped and the spotted orchids have definitely multiplied since we started a wild-flower mowing regime on the bank. The self-seeded foxgloves are also beautiful, with a whole array of them in the corner of the walled kitchen garden, and the poppies are coming. The specimen plants are ...


It’s iris season

The irises are standing proud at the side of the lilypond – unfortunately, though, we are not yet winning the battle against the algae, so the waterlilies don’t look quite as beautiful as they should! The yellow flags in the stumpery, blue irises in the Italian garden and others in the borders all  stand out from the green leaves and have their own distinctive markings. This week volun ...