I’ve come to tend to you again.
Yay! With the re-opening of some National Trust parks and gardens, a phased return of volunteers has begun at Wimpole Estate. Cautiously and where it is safe to do so (i.e. no indoor or visitor facing roles yet). However, this means that some of us lucky gardeners have been allowed back to tidy up four months of nearly unopposed, exuberant plant growth (and that’s not counting the weeds). And it feels divine!
Actually, the whole place looks surprising good. The two gardeners not furloughed are worth their weight in gold and have done a brilliant job of keeping on top of maintenance and seasonal jobs.
The gardens opened to visitors a couple of weeks after the park and in order to keep to social distancing guidelines the team has put in place a one-way route round the gardens. It seems well-chosen, with most areas covered, although it does means that you necessarily cover a lot of ground.
The Walled Garden is full to bursting with colour:
There are fun surprises like this forest of cottonthistles, which has burst from the ground:
Drama is round every corner (here helped by the weather conditions):
The East-West Borders, which I look after, have just gone passed their poppy-filled glory (but you can check out this video made by Forester Sadeik during Lockdown for glimpses of them if you are interested)
Luckily the beds are so full that the weeds blend in. I have to say the rosebay willow herb is quite glorious in flower!
It was lovely to see that the self-seeded Ammi major that I asked my colleagues not to weed in the spring is putting on an eye catching display just now.
The north-facing walls of the inner garden are loaded with ripening cherries. Happily the restaurant has just re-opened and will take the fruit to make couli for desserts. Earlier harvests have been taken to a local homeless charity.
The golden oats in Orchard Walk are wand-a-full (sorry) as you leave the Walled Garden:
The one-way route takes you to the exit passed the Stumpery, which has truly settled its bones into the lush prehistoric-looking greenery (ferns, acanthus and mahonia) this year:
And so onwards, back to the new Hardwicke Gate entrance.
It is great to be back!