This autumn and winter the weather was generally mild and dry until just before Christmas. In the Autumn we have the routine of cutting and cleaning which has gratifying results. The scrub around many trees has gone, replaced by meticulous bark circles, courtesy of Lynda and Dick. Clearance in the Jungle, its extended pathway and many areas formerly overrun with brambles has been carried out mainly by Terry and Sue.
The volunteers managed to continue working in January and February in the rain, there was never a Thursday when we didn’t get in! But it was tricky as many jobs had to be deferred until the soil dried out. On an average morning there are fourteen people. This number is not apparent until eleven o’clock, when gardeners appear mud spattered and cheerful from several locations for their tea break
Much of our work this Autumn is now emerging. We spent about seven weeks planting bulbs, and we are grateful to members of RSSL (Reading Scientific Services Ltd) who helped us. Come in and admire the new planting in the bank to the right of the entrance; the Meteor Garden; the Red Border; the rhododendron beds; and two other areas near the shed.
There are also volunteers who come in on days other than Thursdays, notably Dave and Monica, who have laboured on the Long Border for years; Ruth and Don who have tamed the Yellow Garden; Roger and Don who push out labels, these need to be affixed in 2014.
As always, a plea for more help. In early Spring we think we are in control, everything cut back and tidy. Then there is some sunshine and the weeds assert themselves. It is good to get on top of them before they set seed, something all gardeners know, but few accomplish. We will be grateful for any time you can give. And it looks like it might be drier for a while but then there is April!