The start of a new year… and fingers crossed it’s an exciting one! Let us hope there will be no more Covid outbreaks, and the weather is lovely without any extremes.
Already the early snowdrops are starting to appear and will soon be in flower. After 3 years of not opening the gardens for our Snowdrop weekends, this February marks the start of our new season, and we are going to open on a Wednesday and Sunday starting on Sunday 12th February – not only will the gardens be open, but the tearoom will also be opening as well, and we will have a selection of plants for sale.
Masses of snowdrops cascade down the valley under the Birch and Eucalyptus trees creating quite a colourful sight. Although not many species or cultivars the numbers of flowers is quite impressive rivalling Snowdrop Valley for sheer volume.
As well as the snowdrops, the hellebores are starting to poke their heads above ground. The main area to see them is on the wall terracing going down to the lakes, here they are at eye level, so the flowers can be enjoyed in all their many colours. Planted near them are several plants of Daphne Bholua, a native of Nepal and the Himalayan region. Their fragrant flowers in shades of white and pink are a welcome pleasure at this time of year (and happen to be our Business Managers favourite). Several other cultivars are planted around the garden including a new deep pink form called ‘Mary Rose’ which is yet to hit the sales benches in garden centres. This is a new cultivar from a good friend of Marwood, who does a lot of grafting of Magnolias and Cornus for us.
Lots of new projects are under way in the garden with several beds getting a revamp, and over the coming weeks new plants will be introduced – this is a vital ingredient in a garden the size of Marwood to keep it vibrant and interesting. The plants that are taken out of the beds are divided up, potted up for replanting elsewhere or sold in the Plant Sales area. Our volunteers are engaged in a lot of this work, and we are fortunate to have such a wonderful and industrious team.
One sad point is that Peta, who has worked full time for the past six years, is leaving us this month and has accepted position as Deputy Head Gardener at Balmoral in Aberdeen in Scotland. We shall greatly miss her but wish her well in her new job. A loss for us is a gain for King Charles! ’m sure we will keep in touch.
Do visit us in February when we are open for the Snowdrops, they really are an impressive sight and make a lovely display near to the paths.
The Garden Team.