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March activities in the garden

by Lucy Hart, head gardener

Lighter evenings and mornings have been telling us spring will soon be upon us. It has been a good winter, with plenty of frosts. We haven’t had a great deal of rain though, unfortunately, however hopefully that will change this month.

Our bulb displays are doing well. The snowdrops and crocuses have been replaced with daffodils of many varieties, and we can see the bluebells shooting up in the woodland. The cherry plum Prunus cerasifera  tree in the walled garden is in full bloom. Our beehive is showing lots of activity and enjoying the early camellia blossoms on the Palace grounds.

The restoration project is moving along swiftly, with the focus having been on the main drive for the past couple of months. The gardens team is now working by the stunning new drive, landscaping the edges. In other areas, we have been very busy clearing the west end of the garden to reveal views into the churchyard from the Palace, where it was once very overgrown. March is a great time to start establishing new turf areas and the churchyard stretch, as well as many other patches, will be grass seeded and will soon turn green.

March also brings much horticultural excitement, with the main bulk of seed sowing for the vegetable garden happening over the coming weeks.  The vinery has had its deep clean, pots are washed, and the potting shed is primed for action. Outside, most of the vegetable beds have been mulched with garden compost and are ready to be raked for sowing.  This month we are also planting more rhubarb, and will be digging our green manured beds, ready for action.  The broad beans have overwintered well. In other words, activity in the garden this month is about to kick off!