• People in Helmsley Walled Garden

March 2019 – It’s getting very close to opening time

March Blog 2019 - Helmsley Walled GardenHow is it that the days just swoosh past as it gets nearer and nearer to the 1st April? Work in the garden has really ramped up and we are sowing seed like it’s going out of fashion.

I need to get my planting design in plants and in the ground. The Cleveland Way National Trail is 50 this year so there will be much cake and rejoicing (well any excuse for cake). One of the ways in which we will be saying Happy Birthday Cleveland Way is to plant the familiar acorn logo of the trail by the side of the track as it divides with one arm going to our front door and the trail proper going off to Rievaulx. I know where it’s going but I need to get on and plant up as the actual day is 24th May. Come and check on my progress.

Other than that we are also sorting out events and courses. You can find full details on our website but I would just mention two things. One is on 30th and 31st March when the garden will be open to all and we’ll have a sale on in our shop. The second is our wildlife weekend on 6th and 7th of April. I’m getting as many organisations together so that visitors can learn about the wildlife and nature on our doorstep and also find out a bit about what they can do to help protect our environment; and hopefully have some fun too.

I do find this time of year  exciting, when colour starts to come back. Well in truth it never goes away but it is more, well, muted in Winter and I get to the stage where I crave yellow and red and orange. I have some lovely orange crocuses at home that put joy in my heart every time I look at them.

Back at the garden we are busily composting  the cuttings and debris from the Hot Border. A new volunteer is dedicated to composting and he is rapidly making himself worth more than rubies. As you will know, the smaller things are when they go into the compost, the faster they break down. So he is chopping long stems up and creating the layers needed to make a good compost heap; not too dry, not too wet, small pieces and nothing too woody; and getting the whole thing big enough to get a really good high temperature to kill off any weed seeds and pathogens. As I said, worth more than rubies.

As I write this and stare out of the office window it‘s a beautiful day but it is still a bit too wet in some places to really get on and in the soil. So some of the planting will have to hold fire for a little while longer and I may not get out the office just yet. But the Alphabet Garden wall is completed and looks marvellous. Special thanks to everyone who helped build it. Happy gardening.

Tricia Harris March 2019