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Mike's Blog - 27th January 2021

A Good Day to Be Outside

The weather hasn’t made life easy but the winter garden has been our main aim over the last few weeks. The snowdrop bank had become very overgrown with bramble but we have that cleared now and the snowdrops are not far off flowering.

The majority of the snowdrops there were brought from a churchyard near Hunwick by some friends of the garden.

We have cleared the conifer now and that has opened up a nice view of Fungate, but more importantly let a lot of light in. That’s a nice bankside and we always planned to plant it up with rhododendrons, so I have placed and order with “Glendoick”, a nursery north of Perth which we have used many times before, but not for at least 20 years. I have selected some plants (eg R. ririei, R. barbatum argipeplum and the old faithful R. dauricum ‘Midwinter’) that flower in winter for the plantings closest to the winter garden, and the rest will follow on over the season.

I managed to get the last few plants of R. platypodium which is on the verge of extinction, that flowers March. Ken Cox is the nurseryman and plant hunter who’s family has had the nursery for several generations and are world experts on rhodies. This short YouTube video with Monty Don and Ken is interesting:

The wildlife camera in the woodland by “Fungate” is continuing to give interesting footage. Since 21st January we can add a stoat to the list:

The garden is probably the busiest it’s been for a long time today. Despite the forecast, it’s a beautiful day and quite warm.