What To See In February

Cacti in the glasshouse at Burton Manor

Cacti in the glasshouse (Photo credit: Peter Cunnington)

Cafe Courtyard

In a corner under the wall a tub of Laurustinus, Viburnum tinus, is showing its pink-budded white flowers. As yet there is no sign of the damage that may be done by Viburnum Beetle. Pass across the Stable Yard and into the Walled Garden.

Walled Garden

Glasshouse – Many of the so called hot house plants, will continue to grow as light and temperature reach the required levels. Cacti have no leaves these having been modified into spines, and the swollen, water retentive, green stems take on the task of photosynthesis usually performed by the foliage. Both characteristics are a defence against arid conditions.

Vegetable – By spreading compost and well–rotted manure nutrient levels can be increased and a system of rotation ensures that pest and disease is kept to a minimum; both are necessary for success. Most of the Brassicas have now been harvested and Broad Beans have been sown.

Fruit – New raspberry canes have been planted to compliment the autumn fruiting variety which has been lifted, split and replanted to maintain vigour. Both have been mulched with manure to encourage heavy cropping. Bush fruits, yet to fully establish, have been pruned to good shapes, Already our thoughts turn to warmer days and a fine summer!!!

Flower garden – In the long border behind the glasshouse the Lenten Rose, Helleborus x hybridus, is opening its long-lasting flowers in shades of burgundy, white and pink-ish.

Pink Viburnum x bodnantense against the wall of Newton House

Helleborus x hybridus – Burgundy (Photo credit: Peter Cunnington)

Leave the Garden by the Arched Gateway

Cross the drive into the Sunken Garden, where work continues with the planting of a linear bed of the highly fragrant deciduous Rhododendron luteum from the Caucasus. This is planting for the future but in a year or two we should begin to see, and smell, their yellow blossoms.

In front of the Manor, low down, Iris unguicularis continues it’s spasmodic flowering. On the opposite side of the formal gardens, under a Magnolia, double snowdrops are making a fine show. Soon snow drops will be much in evidence throughout the grounds.

To the left of the Orchard snowdrops and crocus push up into daylight and soon spring will be here.

The North Garden

Pink Viburnum x bodnantense against the wall of Newton House is still in full flower.

VISITORS ARE ADVISED THAT IN WINDY WEATHER THERE MAY BE A RISK OF INJURY FROM FALLING BRANCHES AND THAT USING THE PERIMETER PATH IN SUCH CONDITIONS MAY BE ESPECIALLY DANGEROUS.