Growing green: Gardeners blog
The talented team of gardeners at Cragside look after the Formal Garden, Pinetum and Debdon Valley. Each month, Cragside Gardener Holly will take you behind the scenes and show you what's been happening in the gardens at Cragside. She'll also be sharing top tips for the garden at home and highlighting what you can see in gardens near you.
For me, the spring equinox is a time of excitement. The days are getting longer, the weather is (mostly) getting warmer and the flowers are starting to bud up as the garden starts to reawaken. I have also seen the first of the bees appearing too – some honeybees and a bumble bee. All good things after a long cold winter.
I also think there is a sense of opportunity at this point in the year. We’re a fairly small team of three and we look after the Formal Gardens and Rock Garden around the House. This year, things will look a little different in the Formal Garden as the lockdowns and closures over the past 12 months paused some of the work we were doing and have meant that we haven’t been able to prepare as we would have normally for spring/summer. So this year, we’ll be concentrating on the fundamentals – making sure the grass is kept mown, the plants are looking their best and weeds are kept on top of. The beds will also look a little different this year, but we’re excited to try out new displays.
So, to keep us busy during this month, amongst many other tasks, we will be cutting back the last of the previous year’s plant growth which has died off. We will start the weeding as they too burst into new life. And the heathers on the Rock Garden will be clipped. This helps to promote healthy compact growth and prevents the plants from growing too spindly and losing their neat shape.