Spring has sprung and Difficult Times for the NGS and Ferns Lodge…


Apologies for the delay in filing this blog. As I write we are all the midst of COVID-19 – with all that this means. I am now working from the garden shed which is strewn with much paper and much more office paraphernalia than normal. It is early Saturday morning, another beautiful day with a light mist lying across the garden. Ghillie snoozes at my feet and spring has most definitely sprung here – it is quite lovely.

The rush to get ready for our NGS opening on the 30th and 31st May has stopped abruptly, the smart yellow notices advertising our opening glare reproachfully at me. The NGS were game on, and as the situation became more serious there were instructions about social distancing and the fact that tea and cake could not be on the agenda. Finally they took the difficult decision to cancel all garden openings for this year, which is a disaster but the right decision. The private openings at Ferns Lodge are also cancelled, and so we plan for better times soon. The NGS will lose 80% of its income which goes to all those amazing hospital charities so please if you can, help them by making a donation –


On to happier things…


Everything looks much brighter when the grass is trimmed and this latest spell of dry weather has made this possible after the biblical rain of the winter – the grass here is now looking quite trim!


I have now Boracol-ed everything in sight and the garden furniture sits happily in the right places for the season, sadly it won’t be used quite as much as normal but no matter! I am so pleased that I spent the time sanding, painting and mending last winter. I also bagged a couple of bargains from reclamation yards which look charmingly shabby…


The top garage’s journey to bedroom has come to an abrupt halt, but the planting around it looks fab with lots of primroses and bluebells ready to flower. The big pieris on the drive flowers beautifully unaffected by a container left by the builders which has made its temporary home there.


The clearance in the bottom meadow is complete and we have planted – how cool is this! We are hoping for some chip when the situation eases. I am particularly thrilled with the multi-stemmed birch which will be a star when he is established. My hump of rubbish, is also starting to show promise as wild flowers and ferns start to appear.


The camellias are fab this year and make a lovely show and the daffodils – mostly very old and not planted by me have been wonderful.



Of course the massive, enormous,`oh my gosh’ project remains like an elephant at the bottom of the garden… The new vegetable garden has a LONG way to go…! We are starting with wild flowers and some raised beds to try to soften the edges and as we get to know this part of the garden better, we will get more ambitious to turn this into a lovely lush space. I am anxiously waiting for the first delivery of seed and who knows how this might look in 2021.

Take great care, stay safe and well.

Contact sue.grant@fernslodge.co.uk.