Spring notes from Bateman's garden and estates team

The bluebells carpet the woodland at Bateman's

After the barren, yet busy, time for our garden and estate team over the winter the pace picks up as we head into springtime. There's lots of preparation underway and especially this year as we kick off the National Trust London & South East Gardens Programme.

Spring notes from the garden and estates team

With the changing of the clocks and, hopefully, an upward trend in temperatures this time of year sees the gardens emerge from the somewhat bare days of winter to promise colour and new life.

Discover what our team members enjoy most about this time of year and what work they will be undertaking as the garden wakes up.

Len - Garden and estates manager

In between his busy schedule of managing the gardens here at Bateman's and popping over to keep an eye on the grounds at Bodiam Castle, Len has some particular interests this springtime.

Len says, "I always feel that spring is not only the jolliest, but also the busiest time of year in the garden. But it's not just me busy planning and making preparations for the rest of the year, Mother Nature seems to be working overtime, and right now it's the bees that I find most interesting.

Last year we started out own in-house beekeeping group with one colony growing from a swarm we collected so it was really rewarding to see our bees have made it through the winter. Now we're looking forward to increasing our colonies so we can eventually produce enough honey for our visitors."

Gently smoking the bees at the start of the inspection
Gently smoking the bees at the start of the inspection
Gently smoking the bees at the start of the inspection

Kev - our ranger

Out and about across the estate, Kev notices the signs of spring on a daily basis at this time of year. Here's his thoughts on this ever-changing season:

"What I love most about sprnig is the feeling of nature coming to life after being dormant over winter. The birds are starting to sing; primroses, celandines and blackthorn are starting to bloom and trees come into bud.

On the estate the bluebells are already in leaf, waiting to carpet our woodland shaws alongside the early purple orchids in May. In the next couple of months the meadows will be changing colour with masses of yellow dandelins followed by pink Lady's Smock (Cuckoo Flower) and white Cow Parsley. Oh, and of course the days get longer and warmer!"

Spring Flowers at Bateman's
Bluebells
Spring Flowers at Bateman's

Hannah - one of our gardeners (now half a year plus into her new job here)

Hannah has survived the arctic temperatures of the past couple of months and is looking forward to seeing the garden develop during her first spring season here.

Hannah says, "Spring is my favourite season as, after a dormant winter, it is the beginning of the days getting longer and warmer, and life starting to emerge. I love the excitement of walking around the garden and greenhouse to find the next plant that has decided to pop up after the winter. The added bonus at this time of year is there are no weeds in competition, of course!

Being the newbie here we asked Hannah what job she is most looking forward to in the garden this spring.

She said that the one job that she was most looking forward to was propogating all the flowers and vegetables for the mulberry garden for the summer displays, watching the tiny seeds as they turn into plants over the coming months.

Having only been in post for six months, Hannah says, "I am going to experience spring at Bateman's for the first time, knowing that all our hard work over the winter will be on show for visitors to enjoy."