The gardens at John Clare Cottage are maintained by our group of willing volunteers. They consist of a herb garden, together with a fruit bed, a vegetable patch, a flowering herbacious border and an orchard.
The plants are varities that would have been around in the time of John Clare. We also have our own bee hive and have successfully produced our own honey which, when available, can be purchased in the Cottage Shop.
The last of the year’s fallen apples and pears have been cleared away; red and blackcurrant bushes have been pruned and the vegetable garden lies fallow save for a few remaining leeks which will soon be used in delicious soup for the cafe’s winter menu. The gardeners are busy raking up leaves to be stored in black sacks for future supplies of leafmould, which will be used to condition soil in the garden next year.
In the borders, hardy perennials have been cut back to keep the garden looking tidy for winter visitors and also to reduce hiding places for slugs and snails, and to keep fungal diseases like powdery mildew at bay. Seedheads, such as those found on bronze fennel, have been left as a source of food for birds and as refuges for beneficial insects.
The garden’s structure of stone walls, box hedging and native mixed hedges, together with its mature fruit trees, winding paths and bare stems of climbing roses contribute to the overall winter appeal of the garden and look particularly stunning whenever there is a good frost or light snowfall.
As work continues on the installation of Adam Frost’s gold-medal winning Chelsea garden, the cottage’s beehive continues to be temporarily kept a few miles away. It is hoped that the bees will be able to be returned home to the garden next spring.
Cottage Weather for the past month
|February 2014||February 2013|
|Highest Temp||13.2 Deg C||10.4 Deg C|
|Lowest Temp||-0.7 Deg C||-3.9 Deg C|
|Rainfall||41.6 mm||26.4 mm|
|Max Wind Speed||37 mph||28 mph|