“Our real labour of love” 

levelling gravel
levelling gravel

It’s a busy time as we gear up for spring here at Haddon. There is a preconception amongst some folk that us gardeners snooze our way through the early months, but that couldn’t be further from the truth, especially this year as we have so many exciting projects on the go.

Restoration and rejuvenation are what we are all about in 2019 and that starts with the structure of the garden itself.

Lindsay Berry, head gardener at Haddon Hall

Lindsay Berry, head gardener at Haddon Hall

Focusing on the Bowling Terrace and aided by our excellent team of volunteers, we have carefully removed moss from the retaining stone walls and from the historic edging that defines the layout of this area of the gardens. Sunken edging stones have also been lifted and re-aligned. The results have been very rewarding, revealing subtle detailing blurred through time and the elements. The paths on this terrace and through the Knot Garden are being renovated too and have been hand-weeded inch-by-inch prior to receiving a fresh covering of gravel which will add the finishing touch to a real labour of love.
We are also working to restore the planting in the borders to the scheme set out by Chelsea award winning designer, Arne Maynard, around ten years ago. Additions such as Foxglove Sutton’s Apricot, Penstemon Raven and Lupin Masterpiece will help return the original colour balance which has drifted over the intervening years as the scheme has matured. This is also the time for splitting and dividing perennials, particularly asters which tend to dominate if left unchecked.
Our borders are generally populated by perennial plants but this year to add interest we are raising annuals from seed including Calendula and Cosmos, which will provide us with a fine array of gap fillers as the season progresses. Sowing seeds in the  greenhouse in early spring is of course one of the great joys of gardening and I for one will be keeping a close paternal eye on any that come under my care. Let’s hope the resident mice in the greenhouse look elsewhere for their 5-a-day ration…
Regular visitors will know that we sell a variety of plants in our gift shop. This year we are looking forward to building on this with an expanded range which will reflect more closely the plants seen in the gardens. We are frequently asked about these, so it will be wonderful to be able to offer at least some of them for sale to anyone who feels inspired to add them to their own garden. In line with our move to an organic approach we are happy to say these plants will be in fully biodegradable pots.
February also found us in our orchard; another area which we are working to restore as a long-term project. Head Gardener Lindsay delivered a training session for the team who then put their new found skills into practice in order to encourage more fruiting spurs in the younger trees.
As you’ll have gleaned from the above, there has been a lot of hard work behind the scenes this past couple of months and we hope very much you will be able to share the results of our labours when we open our doors once again.

We look forward to seeing you!

Piles of gravel

Piles of gravel

Haddon Hall

Haddon Hall