Enjoy the garden at Packwood this winter
Packwood’s contemporary mingled style garden, with herbaceous borders, wildflower meadows and beautiful orchard is the perfect place to dream of carefree days. The gardens are noted for their exciting and colourful borders and unusual plants.
Winter in the gardens
The winter months are a very busy time for the garden team who are working hard to clear the beds for the spring displays before hard frosts and snow. At this time of year they also have to cut down all the herbaceous plants and clear all the tender perennials from the beds which are kept safe over the winter months in the glasshouses. Compost is then applied to the borders and spring plants consisting of wallflowers, tulips and forget-me-nots are planted ready for next year. This is a lot of hard messy work for the garden team but never-the-less essential.
A year in review in the gardens
Last year was a difficult time for the garden team here at Packwood, Robyn, one of our gardeners has written a blog about the challenges they faced.
The Memorial Orchard
The trees you will see here have been planted in memory of loved ones lost. In late summer and autumn these trees provide a rich harvest of fruit, ripe and ready to become part of our home-made meals in the Kitchen Garden Café. During the winter months the trees are in hibernation but visitors are still welcome.
You won’t just see apples here though. Keep an eye out for our pears, damsons, quinces, plums, cherries and medlars. It is a beautiful area to have a wander through on a frosty day and perhaps to remember one of your loved ones fondly.
The Yew Garden
The yew garden will be closed from 1 November 2021–18 February 2022, accessible by guided tour only (starting 8 Nov). These are not pre-bookable in advance and are dependent on volunteer availability.
There are 100 yew trees in the garden, the oldest of which have been growing for over 250 years. The box hedges are similarly ancient and weather and periods of neglect have caused them to slump and bulge into their wonderful mounded ‘cloud’ shapes.
Throughout their history the yews have suffered periods of decline. Packwood’s alkaline heavy soil dries out quickly in summer, but traps water in winter making the trees susceptible to both drought and water-logging. In recent years we have drained the Yew Garden which has lead to some improvement in the growth of the yew trees. However, we need to protect this popular area of the garden in winter when it is at its most susceptible to wear and tear. To do this we need your help so that future generations can enjoy its beauty as we do now.
On a tour you'll follow the spiral path to get the best view of Packwood's famous Yew Garden. According to legend the yew trees at Packwood represent the ‘Sermon on the Mount’ and are over 350 years old.
A spectacular array of flowers adorn the borders at Packwood throughout the year, creating a wonderfully rich feast for the eyes - the perfect accompaniment to the beautiful tapestries inside. Packwood's flamboyant flower borders, renowned for their distinctive ‘mingled’ style has evolved through the hands of successive head gardeners. This ‘mingled’ style, which is labour intensive and requires a high level of skill, consists of small groups or single plants being repeated at intervals along the border creating a vivid tapestry of plants crammed closely together.
The Kitchen Garden
Take a read of the article below to discover more about the history of the Kitchen Garden and how the gardeners care for it. The current Kitchen Garden owes much to the vision of the gardening team and a band of dedicated volunteers. Vegetables are planted in rows in beds around a central circular pool. Traditional rotation of crops is observed for best results and the produce is often to be found on the menu of Packwood’s café.
At this time of year our gardeners are digging over and tidying the kitchen garden beds and carrying out repairs to the pathways.