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Our work in the garden at Baddesley Clinton

A gardener carefully planting carrot seeds in rows at Baddesley Clinton, Warwickshire
Sowing seeds for a fruitful harvest | © National Trust Images/Abi Cole

Over the years the gardens here at Baddesley have evolved into a mix of pleasure and production, with new areas being added all the time. Find out more about how the team look after these spaces and the larger conservation projects that have taken place.

A gardener’s year

Winter

The winter period in a garden is very short. The garden team will start to work on next year’s plants with seed sowing starting in January and plug plants and bare root plants arriving from the beginning of February ready for the borders.

The team will prune all the wall shrubs and climbers, including the wisterias, clear views around the lake and give the vegetable garden a good mulch. Behind the scenes they will be working on planting plans and ordering the spring and summer bulbs.

Spring

Things are full swing in the nursery in spring where the team will be sowing seeds, both for the vegetable garden and the ornamental areas. As well as potting on last year’s cuttings of the tender perennials.

They will start putting up supports using lots of the material pruned over the winter including hoops made of cornus over peonies, the runner bean frames from coppiced hazel and pea sticks for the herbaceous border.

The team will also plant the summer flowering bulbs and towards the end of spring, when all risk of frost has passed, they will start planting out annuals.

Summer

During the summer months the team are busy maintaining the main displays. Deadheading of flowers is a constant task to make sure that they continue to flower into autumn. Weeding is one of the main jobs over the summer.

The team will also be pruning spring flowering shrubs like wisterias, removing the whippy growth before it overtakes the garden, and cutting box topiary.

Throughout the summer they will be harvesting both vegetables and flowers for the house and restaurant.

Autumn

In autumn the team start the slow process of putting the garden to bed for the winter. Clearing beds as the tender annuals die off and cutting back perennials in the borders. A lot of time is spent leaf collecting, the leaves are then stored to turn into leaf mould which will be used as a mulch the following winter.

They will plant hundreds of bulbs for next spring’s display, daffodils in the cut flower borders and other spring bulbs throughout the walled garden.

Spring in the Walled Garden, Baddesley Clinton, Warwickshire
Spring in the Walled Garden | © National Trust/Abi Chandler

Garden Conservation at Baddesley Clinton

The garden team have been working on a Garden Conservation Plan for the last few years to help us understand the history, stories, and importance of these outdoor spaces. Over the years, the gardens here at Baddesley have evolved into a mix of pleasure and production, with new areas being added all the time. Alongside the daily, seasonal, and annual management of the outdoor spaces here at Baddesley, larger conservation projects also taken place to help protect and restore this historic landscape. Allowing us to prioritise and schedule work that is necessary to look after them for centuries to come.

View of the restored vinery at Baddesley in Warwickshire.
The restored Vinery | © National Trust/Abi Cole

The Vinery

The three wooden greenhouses built against the wall in the vegetable garden were constructed in the Victorian period to serve the nursery garden on this side of the walled garden and would have been central to the garden’s productivity. When the National Trust took over the care of Baddesley in 1980, the vinery was refurbished. 30 years on from that and considerable repair work was needed again. In 2018 all three greenhouses were fully restored alongside the new vegetable garden.

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Visitors walking over the bridge by Great Pool at Baddesley Clinton, Warwickshire

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