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Garden Blog February 2013

It is not unsurprising that during the dark days of winter very little has happened in the garden, however things are already stirring.
In January we were very pleased to acquire about a ton of wood chippings which several volunteers came out of hibernation to barrow into the garden. The wood chippings were then spread as mulch on part of our shrubbery border by a team of volunteers from the Mental Health Recovery Group. This team also helped garden volunteers to lift the remaining turf from the area that is to be sown as more wild flower meadow. The turf was all stacked to make a loam heap which will be a good resource for the garden in the future. The team seemed to enjoy themselves and their help was gratefully received, I hope that we will see them again
After this early burst of activity the snow arrived and the garden looked quite spectacular for a day or to ---- not a weed in sight.
In the Autumn we established a useful contact with the National Trust’s Clumber Park Walled Garden who help our local NT garden Harlow Carr with preserving the National Collection of Rhubarb.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/nottingham/hi/people_and_places/nature/newsid_8622000/8622543.stm
We have one variety called Victoria in our garden  that was grown from seed and on discovering that Clumber Park had a variety called  Prince Albert it seemed appropriate that he should be introduced to our garden, which duly happened in the Autumn  when one of the garden volunteers from Clumber Park came to visit Ripon Cathedral and dropped off  a couple of “crowns” for us.
It became apparent from correspondence with Clumber that they had various other varieties that would be suitable for the era that our vegetable/fruit garden is recreating.
Serendipitously a couple of gardeners involved in the Clumber Park garden had arranged to come and buy some rhubarb forcing pots from our very own Littlethorpe Pottery, this gave them the chance to deliver us some more plants and have an introductory walk around the garden which they seemed to enjoy.
Now we have seven more varieties recently delivered and we plan to make a “Rhubarb Walk” at the bottom of the garden where visitors will be able to see the range of varietiets of what is normally considered a fairly mundane vegetable/fruit.
Seed potatoes and vegetable seeds are all ordered and should arrive soon, leek seedling are starting to raise their heads in a propagator, all we need now is some decent weather.
Nick Thompson
7th February 2013

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