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Gardener's Blog

After the lovely weather in April, it's been a bit of a shock to return to winter in early May.  Luckily, at Southdown's Park, we have managed to escape any serious damage to plants although the Hardy Fuscia have been hit by frosts.  The fruit trees and wisteria all seem to have been unaffected with the Wisteria now looking it best and beautifully scenting the walk to the Park East south side car park.

The Cotinus Coggygria on the banks at Park East near the bike store are also looking good at the moment.  We cut them back hard each year to get the vibrant new growth.  The Cornus Contraversia in the courtyard of Cavendish, Park East and in the Indian Sandstone garden are looking beautiful.  Hawthorn on the south side car parks and Arundel Mews are just beginning to produce their pinky red flowers and promise a good display.

Blue Tits, Great Tits, Starlings, Sparrows, Blackbirds, Robins and Wagtails are all nesting in the garden and we have a new visitor - a male Sparrow Hawk - that hunts along the south side of Park West, Cavendish and Park East.

Despite the lack of rain, the weeds are flourishing so we will shortly be weeding every day.  Greenfly are in abundance at this time of year, particularly on the Roses.  We rub them off by hand or use a soapy water spray as we try to avoid spraying with insecticide where possible to prevent also killing the useful insects.  Generally, late spring work in the garden involves trying to keep up with the surge of growth and keeping the grounds neat and tidy.  

You may notice that some of the lawns are going a bit brown because of the dry weather.  Don't worry, they will green up again with the first significant downpour of rain.

For those of you who have got to know Adam, you will be pleased to hear that he because a proud father on the 4th May.  Mother and baby are both doing well.

Mark, Adam and Ralph (the dog).