Wednesday 1st May 2024

Summer is almost here......
It has been cheering to see the daffodils last a little longer as the cold weather has persisted and the grape (baby) hyacinths adding much needed colour to what has been at times dismal weather. These bulbs have done well considering they were planted by the FoTOM team some years ago.

The remaining areas of bamboo in both gardens are nearer to eradication with treatment involving spraying, cutting, stump injecting and removing the stems. The next phase will be the grinding of the rhizomes into the soil which retains all the goodness for eventual planting between winter 2024 and spring 2025.

Replanting in the north garden.
There has been a lot of time, effort and thought put into the planting of this scheme, and we are aware that discussions have taken more time than we would have expected. However, we are now at the final stage in deciding how planting is going to be implemented. Because the weather has stayed cooler and wetter than normal it means the planting can take place later than usual, and this is being progressed by David Brown and Priestgate Gardens. As always costs have to be carefully considered to get the best quality and value and not to fall into the trap of overplanting just to fill the space. We also have to remember there are other areas of the estate requiring attention and these will be included in planning for future planting projects.

Tree surgery.
The Priestgate tree surgeon completed his report but is reluctant to carry out any unnecessary surgery on healthy young trees, as this could harm their development. We are working with him to consider what could be done to remedy issues with the density and height of some of the trees. There are a couple of trees which have died, and they will be removed at some point.

Weed, weeds and more weeds...........
We are aware of the proliferation of weeds and moss around the estate and to a certain extent can blame the weather. Treatment by the gardeners of these areas is being assessed and we expect to see a difference soon.

Gerry Smith (RMC) and David Brown (co-opted as a gardening advisor to the RMC board).