February is here, bringing with it the prospect of lighter evenings, much to the relief of the garden team. We are however not out of the woods yet; the continuing battle with the wet weather which has fully saturated the garden and the threat of frost is still a very real possibility.

Early flowering Narcissus ‘Rijnveld’s Early Sensation’ was the first bulb to emerge throughout the garden followed quickly by snowdrops, Hellebores and most recently Leucojum vernum (Spring snowflake). Early flowering Camellias, Rhododendron nobleanum and R. ‘Christmas Cheer’ have provided splashes of purple, pink, white and red. Winter scented shrubs such as Daphne bholua and Sarcocococa confusa have filled the garden with their sweetly scented perfume.

The garden team has taken full advantage of the wet weather, focusing on indoor jobs, taking cuttings, dividing, repotting and tidying up plants for sale in the Walled Garden Nursery, in preparation for the new season. After one of our large lime trees came down in early January, I have noticed that the gardeners get great enjoyment from swinging large axes adding to the ever-increasing firewood pile.

We have been cutting back and tidying through the entrance beds, herbaceous borders, tearoom beds and where required we have been planting bulbs and mulching. We have begun our winter pruning regime, pruning back, buddleias, roses and some climbers including our impressive Wisteria Pergola.

Behind the scenes our stock areas have been given a spring clean. In our Walled Garden Nursery, we have repositioned existing and added more plant sales tables. Our champion Tree Trail Leaflet and Garden Visitor Leaflet have also been updated and will be available from March 15th.

In other news our volunteer and staff Christmas gathering was a great success, a much enjoyed and unwinnable garden quiz was provided by our garden volunteer, Tony. We have welcomed two new garden volunteers onto the team David and Adam, bringing with them a wealth of horticultural experience to the garden.

We have decided to hold a Garden Volunteer Day  on Monday 2nd of March. Welcoming anyone who is interested in becoming a garden volunteer at Marwood Hill Gardens. A garden walk will be included where you can meet our existing garden volunteers followed by tea or coffee in the Garden Tearoom.

Time for me to get back to the garden and away from this computer, there is still so much work to be done.

My Name is Matthew Brewer, I have recently taken on the role of head gardener at Marwood Hill Gardens.

In all honesty, before last June, I had never heard of this garden but for a chance visit to Marwood whilst holidaying with my family. Upon entering the garden we naturally headed for the tearoom. Halfway through a ginger scone, an impromptu interview with the Garden Manager and my fate was sealed. Before joining Marwood I was working as a woodland Horticulturalist at RHS garden Harlow Carr in Yorkshire, together with a hardy band of volunteers clearing and developing its woodland.