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 urgency of high summer has passed and flowers are fading and setting seed. The last few roses, hollyhocks, michaelmas daisies and rudbeckia continue to bring colour to the garden, along with rosy apples, ruby coloured raspberries and glistening blackberries. The cottage garden is winding down and the atmosphere is tranquil and gentle. Apple and pear trees are heavily laden with fruit and the volunteer gardeners are kept busy clearing up bucketfuls of windfalls. There are also bountiful crops of runner beans, courgettes and pumpkins – all of which are being made good use of in the cottage cafe, or are available for visitors to take home in exchange for a small donation.
Our beehive has been taking a holiday ‘off-site’ whilst work has been carried out on our Adam Frost ‘Chelsea’ garden. It is hoped that we will be able to return the hive to the cottage when the weather turns colder and the bees go into their winter cluster. During September the bees will be given a supplementary syrup feed to ensure they have adequate stores to get them through the winter months when they will be unable to forage. Any honey the bees have stored away will also be left in place for them to use during their long hibernation. The beekeepers will treat the hive against the parasitic varroa mite, which is suspected of contributing to many of the problems bees have been encountering in recent years.
Caroline Desbruslais (volunteer gardener and beekeeper)
Cottage Weather for the past month
|August 2014||August 2013|
|Highest Temp||26.6 Deg C||33.3 Deg C|
|Lowest Temp||5.8 Deg C||8.3 Deg C|
|Rainfall||80.2 mm||35.0 mm|
|Max Wind Speed||27 mph||21 mph|