February 10, 2016
Plants to look out for in the Gardens at the moment are the yellow early-flowering Winter aconites (Eranthis hyemalis) in the central Broadwalk bed;
the Gravetye Giants that look like giant white snowdrops in the beds at the edge of the Woodland Garden;
the white and purple flowers of Hellebore Orientalis, dotted throughout the open woodland beds;
the two yellow-flowering Edgworthia Chrysantha near the mid-gates on the Colebrooke Row side;
the scattered snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis); and the slowly emerging daffodils.
A Working Winter
Winter 2015 was a busy time in both the Gardens! At the last gardening day of 2015, we planted drifts of daffodils in Duncan Terrace Gardens and then in December, we learnt that our application to the London Metropolitan Gardens Association for Spring bulbs had been successful: ) So with the help of City University volunteers and the Greenspace team led by Andrew Hillier, we planted hundreds more bulbs in Duncan Terrace Gardens – tulips, muscari and more daffodils. We must wait to see which of those come up this year, but if not, no doubt we will see them next year!
The Greenspace team have once again treated the lawn using a mechanical scarifier. This acts as a mechanical rake, efficiently removing all the unwanted moss and thatch from the turf, and increasing the amount of oxygen and water that can reach the soil. They then re-seeded the grass. They have fenced off the area to give it its best chance over the winter months and certainly, the rain over the last weeks will have done much to help regenerate the lawn.
In the Colebrooke Row Gardens, we planted another nine roses – Rosa Susan Daniels
and cut back the herbaceous planting. Right now, there are many shoots of Spring bulbs to be seen breaking through, courtesy of last year’s bulb planting days!
Pieces of Silver
You may also have noticed we have a new small copse of Silver Birch down near the City Road end – these are three different species for extended interest throughout the year, each has a different bark, form and habit:
- Betula albosinensis – Chinese birch: orange bark peeling to pink & then to white, 10cm catkins
- Betula papyrifera – paper-bark birch:brown/red bark until 20-25cm diameter, then white
- B. pendula – Dalecarlica Swedish birch: White-peeling bark with deeply cut leaves.
Next Gardening Day
Our next Gardening Day is the 20th February – a week today: ). As we prune, collect the leaves to feed the soil and reveal next year’s growth, and gather the fallen debris, we will need to keep our eyes peeled to make sure we don’t step on any of those emerging bulbs or herbaceous plants!
Look forward to seeing you there: )