As the first day of summer approaches on the 21st June, days become warmer and longer and the glorious summer season is upon us. The gardens at Leeds Castle come into their own and are now in full flow with lots to offer. This month we hear from Julie, one of our gardeners at Leeds Castle.
The Culpeper Gardens become awash with sumptuous colour and vibrancy with its cottage garden style, its neatly clipped box hedges and topiary enclose the herbaceous perennials and rose beds which are building to their summer peak. A mixture of Alliums, Hollyhocks and Irises give a great display. The delicate roses are beginning to blossom, with dead heading is carried out regularly, ensuring that the energy goes into making lots of new blooms. This is easily carried out by pruning out spent flowerheads using sharp secateurs, trimming back to a leaf or bud point.
Castle Island with its charming romantic ambience, is a beautiful wedding setting, and this part of the grounds now offers a more relaxed landscape. The croquet lawn grass is being allowed to grow more naturally to allow daisies to pop up in the grass, and the borders/beds display white Cosmos, Leucanthemums and Gauras which gently sway in the summer breeze.
Strolling through or simply relaxing on a bench, one can enjoy the breath-taking views across the Great Water from the Lady Baillie Terraces. Here you will find Mediterranean plants soaking up the copious amounts of warm weather, including Agave, Cacti, Palms and the Italian Cypress. These plants add volume, height and structure, and we must not forget the outstanding Wisteria, with its long mauve racemes overhanging the pergola exuding a delightful scent.
With lots of beds and borders to maintain, weeding is a plenty at this time of
the year. We use a hoe to slice the weeds will keep on top of this, and at
the same time irrigate, keeping the plants hydrated, with lots of watering
is required. Thankfully, we have plenty of helpful volunteers that come every
week, always cheery and ready to lend a hand to help with these important tasks.
Stable courtyard has window and wall troughs now on show, however it has been
a battle with the ducks, which found the troughs good enough to lay their eggs
in, and the birds loved the coir liner as good nesting material! They are now
planted up with nearly two tons of compost and hundreds of plants such as Argyranthemum,
Tagetes, Lobelia trailing, Surfinia trailing, and Ferns to name a few.
Enjoy, this joyous gardening month.
This blog has been written by Julie, one of the gardeners working alongside our landscape consultant, Matt Jackson MCIhort from Land and Heritage. Look out for regular editions throughout the year to find out more about the latest news from the grounds and gardens.
Photos by Matt Jackson and Ian Taylor