May 2020 at Fullers Mill

Fullers Mill is so so quiet now with the occasional sound of a lawnmower breaking the silence.

The plants and weeds have no idea what is happening in the world at the moment, they are growing really well, especially now that we have had rain.  The martagon lilies are just about to open, these like to be in the slightly shaded areas under the edge of shrubs and at the back of borders. Once the martagons start flowering the rest of the lilies follow them, the showy and scented cultivars will be spectacular.

The giant Himalayan lilies – Cardiocrinum yunnanense are going to open within a few weeks,, they can be 1.5metres high with large trumpet flowers. These are monocarpic plants, which are those that flower, set seeds and then die. We wait up to seven years for them to flower and then their offset bulbs start to mature, and the cycle starts over again.

 

 

In the top garden the handkerchief tree – Davidia involucrate is looking fabulous. Although its flowers are small, the white bracts make a stunning display. On the strip over looking the lake our Dipeltas, yunnanense, floribunda and ventricosa are flowering, this seldom grown shrub is well worth a space in the garden.

Annie Dellbridge, Head Gardener


April 2020 at Fullers Mill

Fullers Mill garden is a quiet oasis arranged around the River Lark and Culford Stream with its own millpond in between. This year, it is even quieter than usual, occupied by a skeleton staff and a whole lot of wildlife.  Birds sing their hearts out, siskins, wrens, nuthatches and many others we can’t identify as they flit amongst the trees. The cuckoo has started to shout his name, occasionally we catch sight of them high in the willows in courtship before Mrs cuckoo heads off to find a surrogate to hatch her eggs.

There is a motion sensor camera set up in the garden at night, this has recently photographed otters, foxes and water voles, the garden is a busy place when we go home and the night shift clocks on.

We are now concentrating on the jobs that really need doing, watering, grass mowing and staking lilies and herbaceous perennials. Ideally the staking should be done before the plants start to flop, when they are 10 – 15cm tall so they grow through the supports rather than being visibly restrained. Green jute string is used to gently tie the lilies to their canes (harvested from the garden) allowing them still to have movement in the breeze. Herbaceous perennials can be tied with string or supported with twiggy sticks saved from winter pruning. We try to avoid using ones which root easily such as willow.

 

Fullers Mill regularly posts images of the garden on its Instagram page. Have a look and add your own pictures of the garden from the 2019 season.

Annie Dellbridge, Head Gardener