Though there have been a fair few dramatic misty mornings, November has been another busy month for the Haddon Gardens Team as we have made the most of the mild and drier weather.
As an update to our Haddon ‘bulbathon’ - the last of the tulip bulbs have been planted and now we move on to lily bulbs being planted in the cutting garden and in terracotta pots to decorate the house and Chapel next summer. Paperwhite narcissi are now flowering and filling the rooms with their delicate jasmine-like perfume. Our team choose beech twigs to use in amongst the stems to keep the blooms upright – beech displays next year’s buds quite prominently making them look full of life rather than just dead branches! Meanwhile, in the forcing shed, the hyacinths planted in September are almost ready to be brought gradually into the light to green up and flower during our Christmas season. We have donated our spare daffodil and hyacinth bulbs to Bakewell Infants School who will work with Bakewell in Bloom to plant them.
Whilst many plants are making their way into the soil at this time of year, there are a few that are being lifted to spend their winter months in the more comfortable surroundings of the potting shed, such as the dahlias from the cutting garden and the Fountain borders. Other plant removals have included the growing mass of pond weed in the Fountain Terrace pond which was then left to the side of the pond for a couple of days to allow any residents to make their way back into the pond.
This month has been the ideal time for the pruning of our young fruit trees. Those that have been planted in the last couple of years will have low growing branches removed to leave 5 or so good main branches, in addition each tree will have its ties checked to make sure they are secure but not too tight. Hopefully in 10 or so years time this will hopefully pay dividends as these trees mature to join their older neighbours in the orchard in being bountiful with apples. On a festive note, piles of greenery and Christmas trees are being gathered in preparation for the mammoth decoration task ready for our Christmas opening which, this year, has the theme of Sleeping Beauty and other tales. Boughs of evergreens and swathes of ivy are being draped from every conceivable corner and even a real live local robin has been favouring the newly decorated tree in the Great Hall as a perch! The aroma of dried orange slices and cinnamon is slowing building in every room and there is a fire in the Great Hall.