Another month has flown by in the grounds and gardens of Middleton Hall with hopefully many of you visiting our winter open day and enjoying the snowdrops. Snowdrops really start the gardening season in earnest with their beautiful white flowers.
Snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis) earned their name from the combination of two Greek and Latin words. Galanthus, from the ancient Greek means milk white flower, while the Latin word nivalis means resembling snow Carl Linnaeus classified the flower in 1753. Carl Linnaeus was not the first person to try to start classified plants, our very own John Ray did this before him and Linnaeus classification which we use today may not have happen without John Ray’s work, which just makes working hear so interesting and special with its association with Mr. Ray Walking past his portrait every day is a great reminder of the importance of the work the great man did and I personal find it a great encouragement with the work we do at Middleton Hall. Back to snowdrops, in many countries they use the flowers in medicinal treatments and is currently been investigated for its use in the treatment against Alzheimer’s, so like so many plants which we all enjoy there are hidden story’s. One of the tasks we will be doing this month is lifting and dividing the snowdrops, March is the best time to do this, choose a large well established clump dig it up carefully, the bulbs should be deep so take care, soak the clump in a bucket of water then tease it apart, then replant small cluster of bulbs 10cm apart and at the same depth as before. Our display has been really good this year but by doing this year in year out we hope to be able to establish the snowdrops even more in the coming year, so very early plug remember to come and have a look in 2018, not to wish the year away, we are only getting started.
The walled garden re-development is going from strength to strength, February we have pruned the Wisteria on the pergola, double digging the planting borders with a mix compost and manure which is a job I love doing there’s nothing better on a quiet still day then working with the soil, especially after winter. The pick of all the plants in the garden this month for me has to be the Daphne, the scent is just amazing and I make ever excuses possible to have to walk past it to stop and enjoy it. Daphne is a genus of between 50 and 95 species of deciduous and evergreen shrubs in the family of Thymelaeaceae its native to Asia, Europe and North Africa.
This month’s tips from the Head Gardener
- Sow tender veg and flowers
- Use fleece to protect vulnerable new plants from late frost
- Lay new turf in mild, damp weather, so it roots in quickly
- Lift and divide overgrown clumps of perennials
- Prune bush and climbing roses
- Life and divide snowdrops
- Plant Shrubs now so they get off to a good start
So until next month’s Blog enjoy your garden, and plan your first visit of the season to Middleton Open seasons start April
Middleton Hall March 2017.