Yet more Vandalism!

On Friday 18 June 2021 we suffered yet another attack on the Town Walls.

More damage to the Town Walls

I am very happy to report, though, that the Police have made great progress in finding the perpetrators and we expect this to be resolved soon!

More Vandalism

Sadly, the vandalism I reported here a few days ago has turned into criminal damage.

On Sunday, 13 June, John and I walked around the Gardens to clear up any litter – which included fishing out plastic bottles that had been thrown into the middle of the pond.

Gone fishing – for plastic rubbish

But when we reached the top of the ramparts we were shocked to see the number of slabs and capstones that had been deliberately smashed. There were piles of the damaged rocks in a Waitrose trolley, with another parked nearby.

The Town Walls are Grade II listed and have only recently been restored. This area on the ramparts is particularly popular with youngsters as a place to meet, so it was an especially mindless act. We spoke to one young person who was as shocked and disappointed as we were.

These incidents have now been reported to the police.

A Moment in the Gardens

On a beautiful sunny morning, I was strolling through the Woodland area beneath the Lime tree and paused for a while to listen to the birdsong.

This is a bit of an experiment but I’m hoping that if you click on the video below, you will be transported to that magical moment.

Click on the video to share in the birdsong in Old Hall Gardens

Thursday 6 May 2021

Richard had left instructions for us to “weed the border along the east wall”. Big job! In just a few weeks it had become overgrown with Speedwell and Wild Arum. You can see how we tackled the task with unstinting enthusiasm!

There was also weeding to be done beneath the Wisteria where lots of Poppies are popping up, self-seeded from last year but in danger of being swamped by the coarse-leaved Alkanet, as well as Wild Arum and Speedwell.

Alkanet, Wild Arum and Speedwell to be weeded out beneath the Wisteria

After all our hard work, we were ready to tuck into the biscuits over coffee!

Beverly with the biscuit tin – and wearing her smart new Gardener’s uniform


Shuttlecock Ferns are stretching out in the sunshine. They really do look like giant shuttlecocks!

Leaves of the Common Spotted Orchid are peeping through the grass in the Meadow area. They are quite distinctive, forming a rosette at ground level, with purple oval spots. We hope to see lots of flowers from June onwards!

The Cowslips are still putting on a show in the Meadow.

Thursday 29 April 2021

Last week the Nottages brought us a Royal Fern for the Pond. But clearly, one is not enough! So today Rob was back in his waders.

Rob carefully positioning another Royal Fern

Sue busied herself dead-heading the Daffodils and tidying up the glorious Acer palmatum, which seemed to have quite a lot of dead wood.

Richard, meanwhile, was creating an unholy mess near the Library!

What’s going on here??

Don’t worry: Richard has it all under control. This bed needs a lot of work! John had extracted a huge tub of roots of the Macleaya earlier this year, but inevitably there are several offshoots now starting to grow up. A couple of years ago they penetrated through the wall and into the Library itself! We were not popular.

John’s tub of Macleaya roots

Alison learned how to create a plant support from a selection of sticks.

Alison justifiably pleased with her efforts . . .
. . . and sporting her smart new headband kindly knitted by Pam 😄

Glyn-the-lens was delighted to see that the Rose he transplanted last week had survived!

Glyn taking a break from his camera.
We’ll make a gardener of him yet!

And Dick was glad to have his brand-new uniform to keep him warm!

Thursday 22 April 2021

We turned up on a sunny morning and soon wished we’d put on some more layers in the cold northerly wind!

Nevertheless, Rob got to work in the Pond, with Linda directing operations from the sidelines. They had brought with them a magnificent Royal Fern! At least, we expect it will be a magnificent focal point when it is fully stretched out in the summer.

Well done Rob!

Margaret and Dick continued their hard work in the Lavender border up on the ramparts. It’s quite tricky extracting the weeds from between the felt that was supposed to keep them at bay! At least they had the sunshine on them – and plenty of time for a chat.

For Pam and Alison, gardening was just a walk in the park.

Thursday 8 April 2021

It was a chilly start but gradually more Gardeners drifted in as the sun rose in the sky.

The Nottages were first in the Gardens and had brought with them some Cowslips, which Linda was busy planting in the Meadow. You may have seen us working in this general area: we are trying to enhance the flowers this year and for the future.

Linda planting Cowslips that she had brought from her own garden – thank you!!
One Man went to mow . . .
Well, not quite yet, but Rob cut back some of the thick grass in the Meadow to give the emerging flowers space to breathe and spread

Alison and Sue were busy pruning the yellow- and green-stemmed Dogwoods. The same principle applies as for the red variety featured previously: follow Richard’s instructions to prune back hard to just above two nodes!

It never ceases to amaze me how fast these Dogwoods grow! The photos below show us holding the stems of just one year’s growth!

The cuttings are too good to waste: Richard took some home as supports for his plants, and Julie arrived just in time to help carry some up to Biga’s allotment where they will be used as supports for climbing beans.

Biga holding up just one year’s growth of Dogwoods!

Dick probably drew the short straw today, but the compost he dug out and spread over the border he’d been tending put the finishing touch to a job well done. The Epimediums are looking very happy.

Epimedium x versicolor ‘Sulphureum’ with its heart-shaped leaves has delicate pale yellow flowers in springtime. It is an excellent ground cover plant. Also known as Bishop’s Hat and Barrenwort

Meanwhile the Tulips lifted their heads to enjoy the spring sunshine.

Glyn-the-lens captured these Tulips beautifully

And Tadpoles have appeared in the pond!