Ferns Lodge on Film – New Year’s Day 2020

The attached video takes you on a short tour of Ferns Lodge garden on New Year’s Day 2020. Of course, Ghillie the Labrador is with me.

The day is very grey, with a little rain now and then, and the garden is looking very wintery. Because this winter has been so mild, we still have roses out in the top garden. Green moss is growing everywhere as we go through the season.

The tour starts in the top garden of half an acre banked by oak trees that have shed their leaves onto the ground below. I am super happy with the bottom shrubbery and how it has come together and you can see that we are well on the way with the monster job of chipping the beds and soon composting will begin.

I will take you through the little gate into the garden in restoration where the new main bed has been cut back and chipped ready for the new season. The bones of this old and still very wild garden can easily be seen.

We walk down past log storage – we have been cutting some for the house – Ghillie roars ahead to our first saved oak tree – it was uncovered from masses of laurel.

Next to the bottom meadow and the first of the winter projects – a cut back by the bee hives to reveal a wonky oak tree and the elderflower has been cut back. The brambles are gone from the Monterey pine stumps here, which will make another stumpery.

The work area has a lot of woodchip taken from this year’s winter works. The tree house is looking good and the Boracol treatment has saved it from turning green. On the ground is much evidence of the badgers.

Next, we will see the wild meadow, with a happy tree fern and many bulbs starting to appear. The Rosie Musgrave sculpture is gleaming white – washed by much rain. Turning round you see the rest of the wood and a large wild area yet to be tackled.

By far the biggest winter project at Ferns Lodge this year is next on the tour. A huge challenge in all the wet of this winter. On the way, you see the ring of holm oaks, which are dramatic in wintertime.

The project is the old vegetable garden, which we have cleared a bit. There is a large hollow from the removal of a diseased ash tree we took down. A new Dutch barn is in place and once cleared one day there will be a greenhouse and a proper kitchen garden. We laid a driveway to it on membrane so as not to disturb any tree roots – it has been too wet to roll so far – it is very muddy!

There is also a new prickly area with lovely plants to go with the 120 some old date palm.

We have to be ready to open for the end of May for the NGS.

The tour ends back in the top garden where there are many bulbs and green shoots peeping up. Here the game is to keep the dead leaves off the lawn.

Grey and dismal maybe, but I think that you will see what I see – the promise of what we might see at Ferns Lodge next summer.

Welcome to 2020 and I hope that you have enjoyed this little tour. Look out for more of these to come…

Contact sue.grant@fernslodge.co.uk.