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Mike's Blog - Day 300

Well this is it. The last blog - at least the day-by-day ones anyway.

The day started badly. The carpark was like a sheet of wet ice.

So we spent the first few hours trying to sort that. But we are open now and it’s great to hear children around the garden. They are much noisier than adult visitors.

I thought for today I’d round off with a nice mix of the typical sort of things that have been appearing on the blog over the last 10 months.

A lovely ‘Torch Aloe’ or ‘Candelabra Aloe’ in the cactus house, Aloe arborescens.

It’s a native of South Africa, Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe where it is/was often planted as a natural boundary to contain livestock, much as we use Hawthorn and other hedging plants. As its name suggests these can get quite large and ‘tree like’. Ours is certainly taking over a bit.

From the winter garden, Mahonia x ‘Charity’, and the final appearance of Pip.

It is a great winter flowering shrub but ours is getting a bit overgrown now so we need to look at how we can prune it after its flowered.

From our North American Arboretum,  ‘Incense Cedar’, Calocedrus decurrens (of course that’s the new name. It used to be Libocedrus decurrens).

If you crush its foliage it smells like shoe polish.

The wood is fine and the main use for it is in the production of pencils as it sharpens easily and does not form splinters.

N.B. Writing plant names on plastic labels with a pencil is still far better than any ink marker. We often find plant labels that have been buried for years and you can still read them.

Claire got the Echiums potted up and they are growing well. We only had a few of these last year so we should be in for a great display this year. Look back at Day 59.

They need a bit of protection over the winter and we were growing them down the side of the greenhouse, but we moved them to the poly tunnel on Friday given the -6°C forecast for Saturday.

Two final birds from the mist net trapping that Stu has been doing, a female chaffinch...

...and a nuthatch looking very fit and healthy.

A young deer caught on camera down by Fungate on Saturday night at about 8pm.

Finally, of no real interest but where else to leave them, my daily notes that have kept me right since March 18th 2020.

A huge thank you for all of Robin's work uploading the daily emails onto the Friends webpages. It’s good to have them all stored there for the record and be able to look back at them so easily.

And many thanks to all of you too not only for following my blog, but also for the messages some of you sent. They have been a great encouragement.

The garden and nature has done us proud I think.

Best wishes,