Thursday 27 April 2017

Walled Kitchen Garden at Clumber Park in April

We set off for Clumber Park on Easter Monday and we realised we hadn't visited all year. After taking in the long Easter trail around the lake we headed up to the Walled Kitchen Garden.
As soon as I walked into the glasshouse I noticed there had been some changes. The first section was brimming with boxes of salad – a sure sign that summer is on its way.
In the middle section I thought things looked a little bare despite the early flowering geraniums and fuchsias.
This week I have found out why parts of the glasshouse are looking different. After the restoration of the east wing in 2014 they are now starting work on the west wing. Apparently as part of this 2,016 panes of glass will be removed and cleaned whilst the timber is repaired and replaced.
In the west wing the fruit and vegetables have been started off. There are rows and rows of tomatoes and far more in the other bays. The plots outside will be filled soon.
One of the trials they are experimenting with this year is the 'no-dig' method. This was featured on last week's Gardeners' World. Basically instead of turning over the soil before you sow or plant you spread over a layer of compost. This is said to keep nutrients in, help keep weeds down and retains water better. I'm interested to see how the trial works out as this could mean a lot less work for us at the allotment! At the moment their broad beans seem to be thriving on it.
Clumber Park has two national collections and one of them is rhubarb. They currently have over 130 varieties making it the second largest collection in the world. This plot used to contain sunflowers and cornflowers but is now another patch of differing rhubarb varieties. The gardening team certainly seem like they want to have the largest collection in the world. I still have no idea how they manage to differentiate between all the varieties.
Once the spring flowers start to bloom the double border looks fabulous all the way through to the end of October. As the seasons go on the colour continues with white at the bottom all the way through to bright, fiery reds. Another year of beautiful plants starts here.

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