Box Blight: the final phase (for now!)

View from Rotunda of Box Blight

Read all about an update on how we are tackling our Italianate's Gardens biggest threat; Box Blight.

Back in September we began Phase 2 of our Box Blight project, cutting down the main Box avenues through the Italianate Garden. We then dug out the stumps, put down new irrigation systems and brought in fresh soil and grit.

This last month has seen us complete the last major part of the work, for us that is, which has been the planting of around 600 Yew trees. Initially we re-marked the pathway edges, which had been unavoidably lost when we dug out the roots, and from that marked the position of each tree exactly ensuring they are perfectly straight along each side. We had planned to space them at 18 inches, however as the Yews have grown so well over the last year in the pots, we have given them more room in between and spaced them at 2ft between stems, and also means we have used fewer trees.

View from the Temple Garden
View from the Temple Garden Ickworth
View from the Temple Garden

The next step was to bring in a green waste mulch to spread around the Yews, giving them the best conditions to grow in.

The next phase of this project will begin next Autumn, where we will be removing the curved hedges that mirror the Rotunda and run up to the Terrace steps as well as the Victorian Border hedge and the small hedge around the Rotunda balustrade. We will use this opportunity to create some new gravel entrances into the Stumpery, and work has begun already cutting back some surrounding trees and shrubs to create this. We have also been cutting back on the Terrace over the existing Yew hedge, creating a distinct gap behind and above the hedge to smarten this area up.

Creating a straight pathway down the Yew Avenue
avenue box Ickworth
Creating a straight pathway down the Yew Avenue

Find out more when we continue our work into the Autumn!