Derbyshire's National Trust Gardens and Parkland at Their Most Colourful
|Published: 12th June 2012 11:49|
With the summer sunshine hopefully round the corner, many of the National Trust's gardens and parkland are at their most colourful in June and July.
Calke Abbey's Auricula Theatre (c) NT Nick Meers Here in Derbyshire, the Auricula Theatre at Calke Abbey is spectacular throughout the summer: filled with old-fashioned Pelargoniums. While the herb garden at Hardwick Hall, one of the largest in the country, is at its best at this time of year: full of traditional herbs like Sage and Thyme along with more unusual planting such as Hemlock, Tobacco and Opium poppies.
The roses in the East Court and the south border perennials are also stunning in the summer months. The beautiful park and pleasure grounds at Kedleston, created by the great architect Robert Adam, are as impressive today as they were when designed in the 1700s. At Sudbury Hall and the Museum of Childhood look out for the distinctive lime quincunx, which recreates the symmetrical appearance of the house.
"It is often said the English are a nation of garden-lovers; here in the Midlands, with some of the most densely populated areas of the country, our gardens, parkland and countryside are particularly precious," said Beccy Speight, National Trust, Director for the Midlands. "The importance of our outdoor spaces in providing much-needed "green lungs" for people to escape the hustle and bustle of their busy lives was something that was recognised and championed by one of our founding members, Octavia Hill, whose vision is as alive and relevant today as it was over 100 years ago."
The Trust's gardeners in the Midlands have many years of knowledge and experience. Here are some of their gardening tips for this time of year:
- Water the garden only if necessary, ideally in the morning or late evening and harvest rain water wherever possible.
- Don't forget to open greenhouse windows on hot days.
- Prune spring flowering shrubs such as mock orange (philadelphus) and weigela after they have flowered.
- Sow salad crops such as lettuce or rocket every two to three weeks to ensure you have salad leaves throughout the summer.
- Make sure you remove the dead heads from early perennials and roses regularly to prolong the flowering season.
- It's a good time for shearing and pruning shrubs, and also for protecting fruit from the birds with netting.
- Make sure you have plenty of mulch on your herbaceous borders to conserve as much moisture in the ground during the hotter and drier months of June and July as possible. Cut and use plenty of pea-sticks to support your robust herbaceous plants.
- Keep picking peas and beans regularly to ensure a continuing harvest.
- Always harvest plenty of hazel sticks during the winter to support the plants in the borders throughout the summer.
- Look out for the ‘June drop', when trees lose fruit that is not going to grow to maturity. Make sure you clear away fallen fruit to avoid wasps and grubs that would also attack the growing fruit.
- Try planting pak choi to distract garden invaders from your other crops: the gardeners at Baddesley Clinton have found that the pigeons and pheasants love it so much they leave everything else alone.
The Trust has created a free guide to gardens and outdoor spaces in the Midlands, which is now available to download at www.nationaltrust.org.uk/midlands.
Calke Abbey, Ticknall, Derbyshire, DE73 7LE
Tel: 01332 863822