The rhododendron season approaches at NGS garden Ferns Lodge – and a bank holiday


Ferns Lodge NGS garden is just approaching its best… The irises, salvias and daisies are out, campion is everywhere in the big garden, the grass is growing so fast you can practically hear it and I am sure that briars, nettles and docks are popping up overnight!


Of course, in another life, we would be getting ready for our NGS opening at the end of the month, and the wonderful rhododendrons all around are obligingly now coming into flower. Probably the most exciting thing for me (although Ghillie isn’t quite so interested) are 2 smaller tree rhododendrons who are obviously very closely related to the one at the entrance to the big garden, have started to flower.


They are in the area where I dream my vegetable garden will be and now that the laurel is gone, they have rewarded us with a wonderful display. They too have those delicate pink gossamer flower heads and they are stunning! In fact, they are ahead of the big chap as they are more sheltered. One day, after more diggers, lots of work and much briar removal, this whole area will be planted with their cousins, providing evergreen cover and an amazing spring display – cannot wait!


Down at the bottom meadow, the new planting is looking fab. We have just taken delivery of our fourth load of wood chip for weed suppression and this area will soon be completed and ready for more plants. The tree ferns are making new fronds and this area will be amazing – in time – of course.

The bees are very busy and the hive is filling with Ferns Lodge honey. John the bee whisperer has left another empty hive close by in case they get ideas of swarming and leaving home. We are still waiting for our new friendly queen, and she should be with us soon. In the meantime we are all rubbing along OK, although Ghillie has to watch for collateral damage as he crashes past their home and we are looking forward to the second swarm of hopefully super friendly bees.


More lovely weather, although some rain would now be nice. NGS garden Ferns Lodge is an oasis of calm and strangely very free of humans. Ghillie is busy chasing squirrels and rabbits, and has found a spot beneath the yew tree by the back door which is cool for Labradors but still close enough to the action just in case anything interesting is happening in the kitchen or on the lane.

More pictures of some of my favourite things, despite these difficult times, the garden holds the promise of a lovely display this month and beyond, but there is LOTS TO DO…




Stay safe and well.