Breeze, stick collecting, china and the challenges of getting ready…

March has been a breezy month and mostly wet, but warm. Sarah took these fantastic shots showing spring flowers in abundance. If you look very carefully you can see them bending in around 40 knots of breeze. Many flowers, particularly camellia, have put in an early appearance only to have their fantastic shows blown away.

Magnolia - Ferns Lodge Garden

Tree Fern - Ferns Lodge Garden

Camellia - Ferns Lodge Garden

Daffodil - Ferns Lodge Garden

Crocus - Ferns Lodge Garden

Camellia - Ferns Lodge Garden

Camellia - Ferns Lodge Garden

Primrose - Ferns Lodge Garden

Magnolia in Bud - Ferns Lodge Garden

Of course, a woodland garden has many trees. A very breezy March is a very good thing if you are a Labrador who enjoys collecting, eating and anything at all to do with sticks. The wild garden has the most tremendous potential with sticks much bigger than a Labrador can sensibly handle. But of course Ghillie has a go. There is also the wonderful game called human stick collecting. This is when Simon or me, armed with gloves and wheelbarrow, sallies forth to collect up as many of the sticks as possible; to make way for the lawn mower and to stop the sticks killing what lies beneath. Ghillie is VERY interested in the process and I have discovered the only way to make any progress is to select Ghillie sticks (I am now very practised at gardening and stick, ball or frisby throwing at the same time – multi tasking is important in this modern world and essential at Ferns Lodge). Of course then there is the fun of pulling the sticks out of the wheelbarrow and disassembling them. However the game that is most fun is to retrieve the largest sticks once they are in the work area and bring them up to the top garden!!!




The wind and debris and lots of rain has slowed us down. The area around the compost bins is not yet totally planted. The area to the work area is coming on but it is slow progress. Fences need to be re-secured and really quite large trees need staking.

The shining light amongst all this feverish activity are the wonderful people who have been buying cups, saucers and plates from all over the place and bringing them to the office. Below are some pictures of these, which are essential for the opening.





I would like to say a massive thank you to Valerie, Adele, Sophie & Rachel, Barbara and of course Lawrence for keeping count. Total stars all…

In amongst the china, we have gravy boats, bowls and all sorts of fab stuff which is cool but not normally used for drinking tea. These will be planted with herbs and sold at the NGS open days – so again, to my china gang THANK YOU!

I am looking forward to April and longer evenings for more gardening than I am managing now. Hopefully the breeze will drop, and we can make more progress and get the wild woodland flowers in. Ghillie will have to search a little further for his sticks!