Walking around the hotel garden, we can now really notice the changes that tell us we're fully into Spring.
The morning chorus is at its best, with our resident birds greeting our guests each day. Our nesting blackbirds have had their babies and they can now be seen following their parents around, who are often following our gardeners.
The Daffodil and Tulip displays have finished to make way for the vibrant colours of Azaleas and Rhododendrons. Delicate blossom drifts through the air from our cherry, crab apple and pear trees. Fronds of ferns are unfurling and the display of Bluebells along our pathways guide you down to the croquet lawn.
Back in October Matt sowed some Sweet Peas and overwintered them in his greenhouse with the hope for some early flowers. To his delight he had his first flower appear on May 3rd, which is his earliest flowering sweet pea yet. The first two plants have gone out on wigwams at the top steps of the croquet lawn and the other plants are proudly displayed outside our courtyard rooms. Matt chose 'Old Spice Grandiflora' for the wonderful fragrance as you pass them by.
Our two wisterias have been providing us with a beautiful display of flowers following on from their hard prune last year and they look like they've got a way to go before it's over.
And now that the soil has finally started to warm up, Matt has begun planting out some vegetables and flowers.
During May, life for all gardeners starts to get very busy, and here at the Montagu Arms our gardeners Matt and Pete are busier than ever. On top of the regular lawn mowing, pathway sweeping and flowerbed weeding here's what they'll be up to over the next few weeks:
Annual flowers that have been grown from seed will be planted out into the many flowerbeds throughout the garden. These will be acclimatised first, by leaving them outside during the day and then bringing them in at night. This reduces the amount of shock put onto the plants before they're planted into the soil and is usually done over a period of a week or two.
Spring flowering shrubs, such as Ribes Sanguineum, Viburnum and Japanese flowering Quince will be lightly pruned to maintain a tidy shape.
Earthing up potatoes in the vegetable garden.
Dividing Hostas and replanting where there's space.
Putting out supports for herbaceous perennials before they get too tall.
Updating the planting around our fountain which will include plenty of annuals for the extra splash of colour.
Potting on the dozens of tomatoes, peppers, courgettes, cucumbers, squashes and herbs that are being grown for our restaurant.
Matt and Pete are working their hardest to provide all of our guests with the best experience possible as you journey through our garden. They appreciate all the lovely comments that they receive on a daily basis and if you happen to see them on a visit, they'll be happy to discuss the garden and any projects they have lined up.
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