It’s almost the end of February and time to join Margaret Pollock to find out what’s been going on in the garden this month:
The weather has changed dramatically and suddenly all the snow has gone but whilst it lay, it was pretty up at the House.
I couldn’t resist taking a few snaps of some well known, and less familiar parts of the gardens.
Some of our oldest rhododendrons created a ‘Game of Thrones’ style, phantasmagorical ‘Dark Tunnel’, as each twist of their ancient limbs was neatly dressed with the whitest snow creating a true wonderland.
It was exciting to discover that this secluded grove is actually a well used route for animals navigating through the grounds ,as you can see from the many criss-crossing deer and rabbit prints on the ground.
Our Giant Redwood trees are recorded on the database of The Scottish Redwood Trust – an organisation that aims to map, record and conserve every Giant Redwood tree growing in Scotland. So far they have recorded 2,600 and counting. The trees, now classed as ‘endangered’, grow well in our climate and there are a surprising number of them currently growing in this area.
Locally you can see them at ‘Gargunnock House’ or ‘Gillies Hill’ and there’s a single Redwood growing at the main entrance to The King’s Park. I managed to photograph ours the morning after the snow fell.
The Sequoias, which face you on arrival at the House, looked absolutely stunning with their cinnamon coloured trunks and snow-flecked foliage contrasting against the bright blue, sunlit sky.
We had a pretty thick layer of snow but a quick thaw has chased it away, the frost has melted and we are able to work the soil once more. This has enabled us to begin erecting the deer fence that will surround the new orchard.
We’re also creating raised beds in the ‘Triangle Field’, so called after the shape of the enclosure we have created in the East Field. This will be our working garden and demonstration area and will be an important focus in the years and months ahead.
This time last year we had only just had the polytunnels erected. There had been weeks of rain and everything was soaking with thick mud everywhere. I was really surprised to have a look back at some pictures from the corresponding week in February 2020 and compare the same tunnel to this week in 2021.
What a difference a year can make!
February is always a busy month with planting, pruning and maintenance tasks to be completed before the seed sowing takes over. It is made so much easier, though, by the increasing daylight, the growing warmth in the sunshine (on the rare occasions we actually get some) and the return of glorious birdsong.
Small birds suddenly find their voices in the warmer weather and begin to sing to attract a mate. A robin has already chosen our garage for this year’s nursery and the jackdaws have moved in to the cottage chimney pots. The cycle of life continues apace at Bannockburn House.
What will be happening next month?
If you want to be part of this interesting and rewarding project why not consider volunteering with us.
You might have the very skills we need. Contact our volunteer manager Amanda on [email protected]