Between the Orchard and the rest of the garden is a shrubbery bed which had become very overgrown and presented more as a hedge than a shrubbery. To allow light and air into the bed we have removed some weed species and interlopers, such as ash seedlings and hazels, and pruned the other shrubs removing lower branches and thinning the remaining growth.
At the top of this bed, which is closest to the cold frames, there were also some large bay trees and poplars. These have been felled for us, which not only lets more light into the cold frames, but will also help us to develop what has always been a muddy and shady path from the Wild Garden into the nursery area. Having started at the top of this bed, Steve, who had spent almost two weeks on the project, was keen to carry on down the hill and so it was decided to remove some camellias and a red oak which were on the nepeta lawn. These had always formed barriers which prevented clean views through the garden and were a legacy of previous paths which had been created in the 70’s and 80’s.
The magnificent magnolias will maintain some structure and we are hoping to link the main meadow and orchard meadows by creating wild flower meadow in the cleared area. This is a project Tom has been keen to undertake for some years but it is only now that the opportunity has presented itself.