On Friday last I went to my first gardener’s meeting in the Bothy. Work in the gardens is detailed for the forthcoming week and guess what – it consists of weeding, watering, fertilising, and pruning, just on a larger scale than I have to do with my two square yards at home. Organisation of volunteer activity (lots), and tackling problems like slippery steps and walkways and eradicating Japanese Knotweed were also on the agenda. We have a new gun with a guarded hypodermic needle which we hope will scare this pernicious weed silly and make it go away. It certainly scared me. At least the weed is under control at the moment with our use of Glyphosate which biodegrades and has a very good environmental profile. It will be interesting to see how the new weapon works.
Now for the good news – Alan has lots of little nursery plants ready for hardening off (see how I’m picking up the lingo) and planting out in the garden, so expect to see an explosion of colour as the season goes on. Gentiana for the south terrace, Fuschia standards for the Italian beds, Geraniums, and the big pots all to be planted soon. Where is summer, by the way, has anyone seen it? There’s also a Bramble Bash planned for Thursday of this week – not sure if that comes under good news or not.
Ruth from Reception came along to tell us how important membership of the Trust is in raising funds for the house and garden, and I did my bit about visitor engagement and helping everyone to have a good day out. All in all, a useful insight into the diversity of jobs undertaken to make Mount Stewart the centre of excellence that it is and the debt we owe to all our hard working staff and volunteers.
Meeting over, Lisa departed with an armful of gorgeous three foot high white lilies for the indoor flower arrangements – should be spectacular. You can see them around the lake in full flower at the moment.
Gone to pot! The contents of these are now in the Sunk Garden! We have a great team and would welcome more volunteers, just contact Jenny Ferguson, our Volunteer Co-ordinator, and tell her what day you would like to spend in the wonderful surroundings of Mount Stewart House and Gardens. Alternatively, your can find out more about volunteering on our website.