A winter garden in an alder swamp,
Where conies now come out to sun and romp,
As near a paradise as it can be
And not melt snow or start a dormant tree.
It lifts existence on a plane of snow
One level higher than the earth below,
One level nearer heaven overhead,
And last year’s berries shining scarlet red.
It lifts a gaunt luxuriating beast
Where he can stretch and hold his highest feat
On some wild apple tree’s young tender bark,
What well may prove the year’s high girdle mark.
So near to paradise all pairing ends:
Here loveless birds now flock as winter friends,
Content with bud-inspecting. They presume
To say which buds are leaf and which are bloom.
A feather-hammer gives a double knock.
This Eden day is done at two o’clock.
An hour of winter day might seem too short
To make it worth life’s while to wake and sport.
‘A Winter Eden’ by Robert Frost
Things are starting to wind down at Chartwell now as we start to ‘put the garden to bed’ for the year. Borders are carefully mulched, Winter veg crops are gently harvested, roses are cut back and tied in, paths are cleaned, cold frames are closed and some herbaceous stems are cut back while other are left to glisten with frost. As the festive period approaches it seems like as good a time as any to look back on the year we’ve had in the gardens here at Chartwell. Click on the underlined sections for the blog entries the text below refers to…
The weather was one of the main talking points of 2012! Back in March we experienced Summer temperatures a tad too early. And then by April we were experiencing monsoon rains, just as the hosepipe bans were announced! Summer finally put in an appearance at the end of July. All these strange climatic conditions played havoc with the Kitchen Garden but all was well that ended well.
We had lots of triumphs this year too. First there was the success of our Alitex Glasshouse at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. And then we had some more individual triumphs in the shape of Rhiannon’s performance in the Young Horticulturalist of the Year competition and, if you’ll excuse me blowing my own trumpet for a second, my own graduation from the National Trust Careership scheme! And then of course there was the amazing fund raising efforts of our staff and volunteers as some of us took part in Movember for male cancer awareness. We still had time for plenty of hard work this year as regular readers of this blog will be well aware of. Just scroll back through the months and have a look for yourselves…
But in true Christmas TV tradition, I thought we’d take this opportunity to show you behind the curtain as it were and include some festive funny photos in this blog! It’s not all serious science and hard-nosed history here at Chartwell as we try and maintain the gardens of the Churchill family to the best of our abilities. Have a look at some examples of the lighter side of the Chartwell garden team…
We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has paid us a visit during the last 12 months here at Chartwell. We hope you had a thoroughly enjoyable time and that you’ll come and see us again soon in 2013. The gardens are open throughout the festive period, with the exception of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day itself so there’s still time to get your Chartwell fix in 2012 too! And if you can’t get to see us, keep reading this blog and I’ll try and keep you all up to date with everything that is happening horticulturally…