Ashridge Update

First written and posted on 4th February, 2014. Please click here if you would like to read the original post on This and That.

Life at Ashridge has been busy as usual since the beginning of 2014, last month went by like a flash – no January blues for me!

Me in the Dry Garden

Aerial shots of the Dry Garden



There’s a common misconception about gardening that the winter months are the dull, slow time of season when there isn’t much to do – actually the opposite is true. When plants go into their dormant stage it gives those looking after them time to get everything ready for the season ahead – preparation is key for a successful spring. As Benjamin Franklin said “by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”.

Me and the team at Ashridge have been giving every single area in the gardens a thorough blitz, by pruning, weeding, raking and mulching. We’ve also spent time getting the glasshouse in order before the summer bedding is sown. The floor has been weeded, the glass cleaned, the pots washed and stacked. . . we even put down new rolls of capillary matting on all the benches!

Tidy glasshouse!


Before weeding


After weeding


As well as working I also went on my first monthly garden visit, as part of the training provided at Ashridge. I went to Anglesey Abbey in Cambridgeshire (not Wales!!) with the other trainees and our supervisor last week.

We chose to go there because it is famous for its spectacular winter garden – and we weren’t disappointed. The combination of colourful and fragrant plants and sheer vibrancy of the garden blew me away; it was incredible.There was such a mixture of plants used, winter favourites like sarcococca, daphne, cornus, rubus, betula, chimonanthus, hellebore, cotoneaster, euonymus, mahonia, vibernum, cyclamen, galanthus, narcissus, hamamelis, corylus, prunus, callicarpa. . . the list was endless. My phone ran out of battery because I took so many photos!

You can see my favourite shots throughout this post, including me surrounded by beautiful birch trees. The head gardener at Anglesey Abbey cleans the bark with a pressure washer to keep it looking as white as it does. If that’s not dedication then I don’t know what is!

The Abbey


The Winter Garden


















Betula utilis



I am looking forward to this month’s garden visit, we have yet to decide where to go so any suggestions are welcome!

That’s all my news for now, I hope you have enjoyed this latest update. To finish here is my quote of the moment: “No life is without difficulties; no garden is without weeds.” 🙂

garden quote

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