Thursday 6 August

We carried on trimming the Wisteria along the wall behind the Library, and Julie offered to do some gentle weeding – but she pulled up rather more than she’d bargained for and nearly fell over backwards in her efforts to pull out these enormous roots!

Meanwhile, the Nottages busied themselves on the Ramparts: weeding, and dead-heading the Veronica to encourage a second flush of flowers.

We were delighted to see fruit appearing on the Quince! You’ll find it trained along the wall near the Library.

The Teasels are doing well this year and are standing proud by the entrance to the Library – which has recently opened its doors again since the Covid lockdown.

The end of “Furlough”!

30 July 2020

At last, more volunteers are returning to work in Old Hall Gardens!

It was Margaret’s first day back after a long absence, and we even had a new recruit: Beverly Tonkin. Both were busy cutting back the Cotoneaster alongside the library. Richard, meanwhile, was up the ladder cutting back the Wisteria.

It was high time for this area to be tackled: the Wisteria has been sending out its shoots in all directions and long seed pods are forming.

John was busy mending more benches.

After hedging comes the edging!

Having spent hours cutting the hedge last week, John felt compelled to tidy the edge of the grass below which now really stood out like an eyesore. This particular stretch has not been tackled for months and it was spreading over the path. As always, there’s still more to do another day.

Thursday 4 June 2020

It was great to see Rob and Linda Nottage back in their natural habitat: on the ramparts!

Elsewhere there was plenty to do. The Forget-me-nots have finished flowering and are looking unsightly. We don’t put these on the compost or we’d have them springing up everywhere!

It was also time to cut back the Hellebores to the base of their leaves; these are fine to add to the compost bin.

Just as we were packing up Glyn wandered into the gardens, camera slung over his shoulder. He took some photos (see below) and promised to come back next week to do some work!

Philadelphus, also known as ‘Mock orange’ for its wonderful fragrance
Wild flower meadow

A walk with Linda Nottage

Take this virtual guided walk through Old Hall Gardens with one of our volunteers and keen photographer: Linda Nottage. Below are some of the things that caught her eye on 1st June.

Alliums and Lupins
Climbing rose – New dawn
Gooseberry sawfly larvae having a good munch!
Purple elder blossom
Pink Astrantia

Poppies popping up

Careful weeding under the Wisteria has allowed a mass of self-seeded poppies from last year to come through. A bit more weeding today should give them space to grow further.

Thursday 28 May 2020

We are still a long way from ‘normal’. Since March, we have been down to just two people working several mornings a week, compared to the usual group of 10-12 each Thursday. Recently Richard has managed to put in a few hours each week as well, which is great as he has the professional eye. And today we were delighted to see Glyn the photographer come to join us – he was happy to take over some grass cutting that Biga was struggling with, so she went back to weeding under the lime tree to free up the ferns.

Ferns being choked by Enchanter’s nightshade with its typical white roots (see top right). Once the weeds had been removed, we could see clumps of violets which will hopefully now spread.

Glyn tackling the long grass.

John created a support for the shrub near our tool shed that had collapsed under its own weight. It is looking much happier now.

Richard was busy tidying up along the east wall, with Teasle never far behind!

And it was the first time we used the new strimmer.

Weeding the path

While John was busy hedging, Biga took on another seemingly never-ending task: that of weeding the path through the Dragon Garden.

We felt encouraged by the many comments of appreciation that we get from people walking through the gardens in what is still a very strange time for us all.


It seems early to be cutting the hedge in mid-May but it was growing fast so John got busy and spent two long hot mornings trimming it back and sweeping up all the debris. A couple of days later the guys gardening for the adjoining children’s nursery kindly helped us cut the top down to the level of the fence. Some of the stems are now so thick they needed a saw!