The gardeners and the garden itself are still recovering from a very busy Easter weekend here at Chartwell! The Easter egg hunt in Churchill’s gardens over the four days proved incredibly popular, with a record number of visitors both young and old enjoying the festive fun. If you paid us a visit during this time we hope you enjoyed yourselves and that you’ll come back and see us again soon. There were so many takers for the event that there were no Easter eggs left over for us gardeners to nibble on during our tea breaks! Last year we were still eating chocolate eggs weeks after Easter but this year we’ll have to make do with warming mugs of soup instead!
The first week after Easter and the first week of April would normally be a very busy time for us in terms of looking ahead to an exciting new growing season. We might usually be planting out hardened off seedlings, picking tulips and daffodils for cut flowers in the house and sowing vegetable seeds direct into the warming soil for instance.
Instead we’ve had snow this week falling on our bare soil instead of the warming rays of Spring sun that we were hoping for. There is nary a leaf on the trees; snowdrops and crocus’ are still in bloom because they think, like us humans, that it’s still Winter; and the pea and bean wigwam supports beautifully contructed by new Kitchen Garden team leader Claire and her gang have had to remain unused for now.
Our greenhouses and cold frames are bursting at the seems with seedlings and plants that we’re desperate to get into the ground. With night temperatures still dipping below freezing on a regular basis and the soil water being frozen and therefore unavailable for plant roots to absorb, we’re being cautious and waiting for some warmer weather however.
It’s not all doom and gloom however. The Winter Border is still looking fab and for the eagle-eyed visitor there are plenty of signs that Spring isn’t too far around the corner. And just think how even more amazing it will feel when the warmer, more colourful days, weeks and months finally do materialize. There will be so much to see and enjoy in the gardens at Chartwell that you won’t know where to look first, I promise! We’ll keep you up to date with what is springing up where on this here blog so don’t worry. And make sure you bring your camera too so you can have a stab at entering our Chartwell Calendar Photography Competition. More information can be found here. The project has even made the headlines on the local paper too. You can check out their story by clicking here, although I apologize in advance for the slightly embarrassing picture you might spot!