About Us







The Garden

Contact Us


Volunteers' Blog - July 2023

Over the past months the Seed Group have continued to process and pack seeds for sale in the Visitors Centre. As you are probably aware, this is a considerable source of revenue for the Friends that can be invested in the Garden. Another very profitable source of income is the sale of Juliette Percival’s maps of the Garden. The Volunteers ensure that there is always a ready supply of these, neatly tied into a scroll with garden twine.

Out in the garden the Volunteers have been clearing the steps down to woodland garden of leaves. A replacement seat, made from the wood of the Monkey Puzzle Tree, will be installed once the wood is fully seasoned.

Many hands make light work, so the saying goes; on an overcast, but on this occasion dry day, four members of the Volunteering team put this into practice by tidying the Fossil Fern bed. Close by we have also worked on the Australasia and New Zealand beds. These beds have been further enhanced by Claire, one of Peter’s team, with a top up of gravel mulch and the addition of some new specimens.

There is always more general weeding and tidying to do around the garden: deadheading and tidying plants on the Terrace, weeding under the griselinia hedges and pleached limes and edging paths has kept us busy. Next on our list is the Alpine Garden. The plaque in memory of Dennis Mitchison, who co-ordinated the Volunteers for many years, has been put in place. The old climbing rope has been replaced, but we now need to ensure the garden looks as good as when he was working in it.

The Northumberland in Bloom judges visited the Garden in mid-July coinciding with the Friends Himalayan Balsam pulling day. The Seed Group joined with the rest of the Volunteer group and those Friends who came for the day, to work around the Garden, not just the areas where the judges would visit – honestly‼ Peter Thompson seemed pleased with the outcome at the end of his tour, we will however, need to await the judges’ verdict.

We have been joined by a number of new Volunteers to the group over the past couple of months. If you, like them, would like to join us, you will be most welcome.

Alex Taylor