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Our plans for reopening have firmed up and we have been busy rearranging the classroom to ensure social distancing, reviewing the way people arrive and sign in and making sure there is enough hand sanitiser. We are putting up a marquee in the next few days to give us the flexibility to do some courses entirely outside and we are redesigning others to make sure everyone can see demonstrations without having to get too close to each other. It has all been a juggle but it will be well worth it when the first students arrive back next week.
We have also been doing a bit of a tidy up. Trimming the edges of beds, hoeing off weeds, sorting pots in the polytunnel, cleaning up the greenhouse. It has been a good moment too to stop and reflect on the past few weeks of lockdown. It has been difficult and strange. Like many people we have faced totally unplanned for challenges but there have been opportunities created too. We have made changes in the garden which we would not have had time for this summer, we have developed new courses for people who have discovered a passion for gardening in the past months and we have started plant sales which have kept us going through lockdown, and which we will continue on a smaller basis going forward. There will be plants available for students to purchase when they come on a course, and in the autumn we plan to start regular Saturday open mornings when anyone can come and see what we offer and maybe buy some plants too.
In amongst all this we have planted out leeks, lettuce and the last of the beans. More carrots and beetroot have been. We have eaten our first tomatoes straight from the vine in the greenhouse and resisted the temptation to eat the still tiny cucumbers. We have also got the last of the annual flowers into the beds to fill gaps, cut back flower stems on foxgloves, lupins and delphiniums and staked lilies and dahlias. And despite the rain we have had to water most days. We may have passed the summer solstice but there is no let up in the garden.
Our Summer Programme is filling up. Do have a look and let us know you if you are interested in joining us.
Upcoming courses with availability:
Peony and Dahlia Day Tuesday 14th July
Creating A Green Wall Thursday 9th July
Peony and Dahlia Day Saturday 18th July
Summer Pruning Thursday 16th July
Your Veg Patch Friday 17th July
Summer Flowers: cutting, conditioning and arranging Thursday 23rd July
Planting for Year-Round Colour Friday 24th July
Gardening Under Glass Friday 31st July
Plant of the Week
Penstemon 'Andenken an Friedrich Hahn'
Commonly known as Penstemon `Garnet’, this is a good bushy semi-evergreen perennial with narrow, dark foliage and erect racemes of tubular bell-shaped, deep wine-red flowers 3cm in length, marked white in the throat. Penstemons are North American plants where Native Americans used the roots to alleviate toothache. Grow in fertile, well-drained soil in full sun or partial shade deadhead to maintain vigour and cut to the base in spring.