It feels as if winter has unfinished business this year. One moment we are graced with sunshine and milder temperatures which are quick to change back to the icy conditions we have grown accustomed to recently. These kinds of uncertain conditions can be a gardeners worst nightmare, something our Head Gardener, Barry Daniel, knows all too well.
"Hopefully in the coming weeks we'll see the garden flourish into the spring we know and love. Fortunately I do try to plan for eventualities such as this, so there is plenty of our produce growing behind the scenes which is protected by the dreaded beast from the east!"
It's hard to imagine that snow ever fell on the garden as we arrive on a fairly warm Wednesday. The sun is shining, there's a soft breeze and it is finally starting to feel as if spring is in the air. As Barry walks us round the garden we can see daffodils in bloom and plants such as Skimmia Japonica and Japanese Camellia bring much needed colour.
The kitchen garden is used regularly. Head Chef Matthew Tomkinson and Barry work together to ensure the required produce is homegrown where possible, and soon this area will be filled with evergreen for Matthew and his team to pick and add to The Terrace restaurant's delicious menu.
"We have broad beans, kale, fennel, brasicas and salad crops growing at the moment as well as perpetual spinach."
As well as homegrown produce, we grow our own cutting flowers. It's these cutting flowers and foliage you will see in the hanging baskets and pots outside yet also in our bedrooms. "Our in-house Florist, Mala and I work together to ensure what is planted outside is reflected inside."
Soon this patch of garden will have beautiful blooms such as Dailias, Gladiolus and Nestersions and in the summer months there will be even more to admire.
Situated to the right of the hotel chickens is where Barry grows much of the fruit you enjoy in our delicious dishes. "Matt likes to use a lot of blackberries and raspberries so I have made sure there's plenty planted."
So we await the warmer weather to see what it brings to the garden next month! If you do visit our garden do make sure you say hello to our dear chickens for they provide many eggs for the guests' breakfasts!
Discover the art of nothing at the Montagu Arms Hotel. While away the hours in our conservatory and stroll through the gardens, time is your own. Book your New Forest break at this award-winning country house hotel for a spring escape like no other.
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