January Gardens Blog
New Year and a new blog from our fantastic garden’s team who tell us all about what they’ve been up to in January so far and how they are preparing for the summer season.
January has seen the garden team try to inject some colour and scent alongside the zig zag walk in the woodland with massed plantings of fiery Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Jelena’ and it’s golden counterpart, ‘Arnold Promise.’
They are currently flowering now, and if you’re lucky you might catch a whiff of its delicious scent on the wintry air.
To help take care of these new plantings, and the Magnolias planted in the autumn we have all chipped in with mulching using coarse bark. This will give the new trees and shrubs the best start in their life at Trentham by helping to suppress weeds and retain moisture, and to some extent providing a slow release of nutrients as the mulch breaks down over time.
To prepare for summer colour, the roses have all been pruned, and ones suffering more than usual from disease dug out to be replaced later in the year. We removed approximately two thirds of the year’s growth, and this should encourage good flowering and vigour ready for the busy summer months.
Trentham is a haven for wildlife across the 725 acre estate, and it’s no different on the East Side where we discovered a hedgehog trying to hibernate whilst we were weeding and clearing the shrub borders. Toads are another fantastic natural pest control, and we discovered a young one making his way through the shrubs one crisp morning. We tucked him away safely to avoid ending up in the compost heap, and hopefully he’ll do a good job of munching on slugs and snails for us in the spring!
A longer term project in the Italian Garden is to re-establish some of the planting in the upper and lower beds according to the original plans by internationally renowned designer Tom Stuart-Smith. This involves replacing plants that have failed, or thinning out over mature specimens that have taken over. We’ll be ordering potentially thousands of new plants to fill the beds with all the colour and texture envisioned by Tom, restoring them to their former glory.
As part of the preparation for this, the planting in the beds will all be cut back towards the end of the month, and a mulch applied. It might look bare to begin with, but it won’t be long until the signs of spring start appearing - look out for the tulip bulbs beginning to shoot up in the upper flower garden. Some much needed colour will soon be on its way!