Walled Garden planting update

Walled Garden planting update

Things are moving into a new phase now, as the Garden is used as we always imagined it would be. Read our latest update provided by our garden volunteers.



The Museum's programme of events expanding into this lovely space, bringing  Festival events, plays, music and of course, Buzz Club. The Garden has provided the resources for a natural dye workshops, and inspiration for art activities. 

Who could have imagined we'd have weeks of scorching sunshine?  I have not dared look at the thermometer on the Walled Garden wall, near ' Toad Hall!' How very fortunate that in early May, just in time, the Museum invested in a watering system, a 'leaky hose' which directs water into the ground rather than spraying into the air, thus reducing evaporation of this precious resource. The Garden walls exaggerate the temperature, and the sun has been beating relentlessly. The borders have been saved so far. Even so, there are parts of the garden we are having to water by hand - very good strength exercises for the Gardeners!

Happily, Cleo Mussi's planting design means that the  top white border and 'Mediterranean' border are designed to cope without watering; and the meadow is dry as are all the fields around Stroud. The lawn, Geoff's project, is fried now, but the garden experts on TV are telling us not to worry, the grass will recover. 

Our only concerns have been any new plants which have not had chance to get their roots down and  are beyond the reach of the hose: a new, black- stemmed hydrangea on the high wall of the white border; some annuals such as the sunflowers, zinnias, antirrhinums and salvias at the border edges; and the hydrangeas we planted on the steep bank as part of Cleo's plan for autumn colour. We've been sloshing water in these as best we can. Meanwhile, the chrysanthemums , also part of the autumn plan, are already trying to flower- too soon! 

This year, our runner beans on the pergola were eaten by snails - but we have tried again with better results. The same happened with our sweet peas. Our salad vegetables in the raised beds have bolted, though we did sell bunches of radishes recently, more than covering  the cost of the seeds. The lily pond is looking pretty thanks  to new donations from Marion of something called 'Frog-Bit' (we love it!).

In its second full year of opening, the Garden is beyond anything we could have imagined. The borders are exploding with colour, a 'work of art', and it is a joy to be there and to listen to people's comments, which we pass on to Cleo. The volunteers welcomed the 'Britain in Bloom' judges for a tour of the Walled Garden in July, the Shed tidied as the judges arrived!

The stars of the Garden just now are the giant white globes in the top white Stellata border, which are the flower heads of leeks left to 'go to seed' (pictured); alongside them are the silvery-white leaves of Eryngium giganteum, 'Miss Willmott's Ghost, a drought- tolerant, sun- loving plant. Visitors have also asked about the red-purple drumstick allium, Allium Sphaerocephalon in the purple border... not forgetting our happy colony of brown honey bees, who love these plants, too. In fact, this year the Garden is alive with insects! Take a few minutes to count the butterflies you see near the meadow and orchard.

We are not sure whether we still have our resident hedgehogs. Peter, Saturday Garden Volunteer, has been monitoring them and reports there is little evidence of them at the moment. It could be that they are staying deep in the meadow area, in the shade of the old trees.

The whole garden volunteer team is aware that we have moved on from our early beginnings. Marion  Hearfield,  with Geoff, have made our' plant holding area'  much more practical and professional. In the Shed, there's now shelving for the Garden files. We now just need to tidy the tool shed!

The plant stall at the Shed is kept well - stocked, with Marion and Caroline potting up seedlings and donations from visitors, Friends and other Shed Volunteers. Caroline and Cheryl are collecting and labelling seeds which are then sold by Beth in the Museum shop, while visitors are requesting seeds or cuttings from certain plants. We continue our link to the Nursery at Miserden, too, supporting the Museum through advertising and commission on the attractive display of plants for sale in the courtyard. 

In addition to the Friends’ plant stall in the Garden, we’ve been collecting seeds (visitors sometimes asking for them) and Caroline and Cheryl have patiently sorted them into envelopes, for sale in the Museum shop. We hear that they are selling well and helping the Museum.

We have all learned a great deal from one another in the Garden this last year, a hands- on 'practical' course on proper names of plants, growing conditions, pruning, composting, how and when to take cuttings, sharpening tools and fixing hoses - and assembling gazebos where the instructions have vanished! 

Time never stands still in the Walled Garden. We remember how the garden looked last year, we enjoy the delights of 'now', and already, Cleo is busy creating plans for the autumn, the splitting and moving of plants: the  purple rambling rose that will be moved as it's so vigorous, the small irises lost at the back of the border, the gaps to fill in the white border, the training of the roses on the Paulonia tree, the ordering of bulbs for the Spring.

For the summer, we : Geoff, Dave, John, Rob,Peter,  Caroline, Cheryl, Carroll, Ruth, Helen and Ann, plus all of the ' Shed ' volunteers, will keep things ticking along as visitors enjoy the outside space at the Museum, in our special Secret Garden. 


Older Blog Items


Walled Garden - Very Happy and Calm

The walled garden is full activity but will make you feel very happy and calm!  Read our latest update provided by our garden volunteers.


Walled Garden - Blooming!

In its first full year the Walled Garden continues to amaze and delight visitors.


Walled Garden - Springing into Life

This time last year the hard landscaping of the Walled Garden had just been completed - difficult to remember now, how it looked!

Blog Archive

30.07.2018 Walled Garden planting update
24.04.2018 Walled Garden - Very Happy and Calm
15.06.2017 Walled Garden - Blooming!
29.03.2017 Walled Garden - Springing into Life
10.10.2016 Walled Garden - Now Open!
16.09.2016 Walled Garden - Secrets to be revealed
06.08.2016 Walled Garden: More Sneak Peaks
17.06.2016 Walled Garden - Bad at keeping secrets!
03.05.2016 Walled Garden - News from behind the walls
29.01.2016 Walled Garden: Rain, rain go away, come back...
30.11.2015 Walled Garden - Growing
22.09.2015 Walled Garden - The Wombles would love it!
17.08.2015 Walled Garden - Entranceway build starts
06.07.2015 Walled Garden - remains on track
30.03.2015 Walled Garden - Awards and Inspiration
13.02.2015 Walled Garden - major milestone reached
09.12.2014 Walled Garden - A Critical Path
08.11.2014 Walled Garden - Taken a Peek Recently?
10.10.2014 Walled Garden - the colour palette
11.09.2014 Walled Garden - When will it be finished?
10.08.2014 Walled Garden - Pavilion Tops-Out!
08.07.2014 Walled Garden - The structure rises!
10.06.2014 Walled Garden - A Happy Place!
06.05.2014 Walled Garden - building work to start
17.04.2014 Walled Garden - Volunteers need your vote...
02.04.2014 Walled Garden - Let's Celebrate!
14.03.2014 Walled Garden - The first public 'drop in' event held
09.02.2014 Walled Garden - A dedicated education building for the Garden
06.01.2014 Walled Garden - from dereliction to life
15.11.2013 Walled Garden - the essentials...
30.09.2013 Walled Garden - latest from the ground
25.08.2013 Walled Garden - ACE activities

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