Summer to autumn 2018 at Colby Woodland Garden

Little Craig Y Borion, Pembrokeshire

Take a deep breath, hold it... and relax. What a year it’s been so far.

Extremes of weather

Since the longest and coldest winter I can remember for some time and straight into the longest drought since the 70s, it has been one non-stop rollercoaster of a ride. At Colby we’ve had what can only be described as extremes of weather and it is a sign of things to come as our planet warms.

As a result of the drought and extreme cold we did lose a few plants, but the hard work and dedication of the volunteers and the near constant task of watering the new and rare planting kept causalities to a minimum in the garden. I’m holding my breath to see if some of those plants may very well come into leaf next spring and surprise us all. 

Working holidays at Little Craig-y-Borion

This year has also seen our first full season of working holidays. Until our new bunkhouse at Little Craig-y-Borion was rebuilt our groups would stay at Stackpole. As such, we would have two or three holiday groups a year, but now that we have accommoation on-site we received nine full working parties to help us in the garden and on the wider estate.

Groups have helped with tasks such as fencing, path construction and repairs, as well as planting up new woodland cover for wildlife corridors and the sowing of seeds for large areas of new wildflower meadows.

The changing of the seasons

With the summer months behind us and autumn rapidly turning to winter we have but a week or so until the tea-room closes and the shop is shut for another season. Before that though, we are fortunate to experience one of the best years for colour I have seen. Trees and shrubs that have been planted over the last decade are now mingling with the mature specimens of previous generations of gardeners and the results are spectacular.

Our wicker man is being built, marking half-term, and then the grand finale is our winter fair during November before it will be just us gardeners left to contemplate a truly amazing year.