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Grounds & gardens – March 2020

Univ Masters LodgingsDespite the wet and windy weather recently, now, with the recent warmer weather the flower buds on the trees in the orchard are starting to come out at Staverton, it looks like it could be a good year for fruit! So we should see the benefit of the “fruits of our labour” (no pun intended!) from the good prune the trees had earlier in the year. The bulbs in the orchard are in full bloom with Scilla, Snowdrops and Iris reticulata which together with primula are producing a riot of colour as well an encouragement for pollinating insects.

The greenhouse is almost overflowing with containers of hardwood cuttings of both deciduous and evergreen shrubs as well as numerous roses, many of which should be rooted by late spring. Also, there are numerous young shrubs and perennials being grown on for planting at our sites.

Now that the herbaceous border is starting to shoot is the time to divide some of the older plants, replanting some of the newer growth to encourage good vigour and a healthier border. Also, trees and shrubs such as Magnolia and Mahonia are looking resplendent at the moment, as are the spring flowering bulbs all around the site.

One of the main tasks at present is to keep hoeing the borders, the more it is done earlier in the year, and the less you will find you have to do it to control weeds as the year progresses. A feed of a general fertilizer such as Growmore or Blood, Fish and Bone is beneficial now the weather is warming up.

Regular feeding of any planted containers should now begin using a regular feed, using a general-purpose balanced feed, but once buds or flowers are present switch to a “Tomato feed” to prolong flowering.

Other sites Main, Harberton especially have had remedial work done on the lawns with a big push on removing moss and thatch by scarification, they have been seeded, dressed and fertilised.

We have also had 13 tall trees delivered to Staverton as we look to implement the design plan by our landscape architect Kim Wilkie. This species on Quercus ilex and Pinus Sylvestris shall complement our existing trees well.

Monthly Gardening Tips

Lift and divide large clumps of perennials.

Cut back Cornus dogwood and Salix (willow) grown for colourful winter stems.

Tie in climbing and rambling roses.

Wishing everyone a safe and healthy end of March and April, keep active and keep gardening!

Robbie Eason, Head of Grounds Maintenance, and the Team.

Find out more on our Gardens page.

Published: 31 March 2020

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