Restoring the floral beauty at Haddon Hall
The Hall and gardens are now open and the borders are really beginning to fill out. Lush green growth belies the promise of a new season. We’ve been stocking up our team, as well as our borders, with the introduction of Joe, who we are delighted to welcome as a new gardener. He comes from both a horticultural and wildlife background, which will add a new dimension to our team.
We’ve been busy this month reintroducing lost cultivars to the gardens, to restore the rhythm which was a key element of Arne Maynard’s original 2011 design. To the fountain terrace we’ve added such highlights as Chrysanthemum Emperor of China and several varieties of Verbascum. We’re also adding annual plants such as Nasturtium ‘Milkmaid’ and ‘Tip Top Apricot’ for additional interest which will harmonise with the perennial planting and knit everything together.
This year we prepared tulips in pots for an earlier and instant display planted straight in to the border. The varieties chosen included ‘Prinses Irene’, ‘Belle Epoque’ and ‘Paul Scherer’.We’ve replenished the existing planting on the Bowling Green Terrace, which is erupting with the silver fountains of cardoons contrasted with the delicate yellow panicles of Woad (Isatis) as we write. Opposite, a Magnolia ‘Sunray’ is in full flower shading Euphorbia griffithii ‘Fireglow’ thatstands amidst unfurling ferns.We have now started the restoration of the Knot Garden with the cutting down of over mature hedging and the untangling of its planted compartments. We will watch with anticipation as the teucrium and lavender hedging regenerates to form the crisp low level hedge. The burgeoning buds of irises provide the promise of colour to come on the top terrace. These are well worth seeing at their best in May with the Centaurea ‘Amethyst in Snow’ providing a white canvas, which has just begun to flower.The sweet heady fragrance of Daphne drifts up the steps behind the chapel, when warmed by the spring sunshine, enticing visitors to the lower terraces. This month also sees the launch of Haddon’s new garden workshop programme with the first this Saturday May 25.
This first theme is ‘Understand Your Soil’ and participants are invited to bring a sample of their own soil to test pH, structure, texture and nutrient content to help get the most out of their garden. Workshops will be held in the newly restored Gardener’s Cottage and rarely seen Cutting Garden.June 30 marks our first annual plant fair where the Gardens Team will be joined alongside a range of other local growers, and will be selling the Haddon plant range raised organically here. Any nurseries interested in holding a stall can book one by ringing the Haddon Estate Office.