I am overjoyed to be part of the Arley Arboretum team in this exciting time as we develop the Arboretum and Gardens for the new season.
Born in Wales in 1986, I have since worked and studied in Horticulture for almost 8 years. Having gained qualifications in Horticultureat Rodbaston college I spent several years working as a gardener for private homes across Shropshire and Staffordshire, then as a gardener for the National Trust at Dudmaston Hall. Volunteering with a number of charitable organisations on large country estates has prepared me for working at Arley Arboretum as the Head Gardener.
I enjoy the interaction with visitors and encourage anyone visiting the Arboretum & Gardens to come up and have a chat! Ask me questions about what you see or even grill me about your gardening troubles at home - Just look for the man in the very fine hat.
What's in bloom this week?
The Snowdrops and Daffodils are looking great right now and it is definitely worth a visit this week to see the Arboretum in the last thralls of winter.
With the weather being so mild everything is springing into life. Daffodils, muscaria and tulips are on their way!
Without a good hard frost, these tough little flowers will be gone before anyone has had chance to enjoy them, so visit as early in the season as you can.
WEDNESDAY 9 MARCH 2016
It was by far the busiest February that we have on record at Arley, with 1000's of people coming over to visit us during the half-term. It was fantastic to see so many families out enjoying the trails around the gardens, playing in the play area and visiting the animals...
WEDNESDAY 10 FEBRUARY 2016
Hello everyone, our first open date of 2016 is this Saturday 13th so from everyone at Arley Arboretum, we are looking forward to seeing you at half term!
Work hasn't slowed down here over the winter at the arboretum...
THURSDAY 21 JANUARY 2016
Let me start by saying I hope you had a great Christmas and a happy new year! 2016 looks to be a busy one for Arley Arboretum, if the first 2 weeks of January are anything to go by. We have been flat out since coming back from Christmas
TUESDAY 8 DECEMBER 2015
It’s been a while since my last post, about 3 weeks I think. But I did have a holiday sandwiched in between 2 REALLY busy weeks. Couple this with an ongoing cold that keeps knocking me out in the evenings and you have a recipe for a non-productive head gardener blog writer.
MONDAY 16 NOVEMBER 2015
Its safe to say that it has been a mild Autumn so far. In fact its one the warmest Novembers I can recall. Which, if it wasn't so wet, would almost be enjoyable! We had a week of real foggy weather which gave us some haunting images of the Arboretum.
WEDNESDAY 28 OCTOBER 2015
It’s quite a sad thing to cut down a tree, especially one that is hundreds of years old. Some trees are destined to be felled when they reach their maximum useful size. We have pines that I wouldn't weep over being felled, that doesn't mean I'd enjoy it, however most trees that are useful for timber purposes are older than me.
WEDNESDAY 7 OCTOBER 2015
I keep harping on about it, but the colour in the trees is really starting to kick in. In fact a few of the smaller Acers are already starting to drop their leaves so if your planning a visit now is a great chance to see the contrast in trees as some are well under way and others are just about starting...
WEDNESDAY 23 SEPTEMBER 2015
You may have noticed the chill in the air, or the slight change in colour of some of the trees, or maybe flowers gradually starting to fade, but Autumn is now officially here!
We still have a few days of great weather ahead of us though, so expect to see a few confused plants flowering for a second time!
Monday 7 September 2015
With summer officially ending on the 23rd of September we still have a while to bask in the glory of the English summertime.
MONDAY 24 AUGUST 2015
Oooh what a lovely piece of rot
I'm kind of certain that most people wont find a really nice bit of rotten tree branch to be interesting. But then again I might be surprised. Anyway, this is the remains of a Red Oak's branch that fell down, more or less without any warning.
WEDNESDAY 5 AUGUST 2015
New for August, brand new toffee smell!
No joke, we really do have a tree that smells like toffee, or more accurately, burnt sugar. More on that later in the blog!
FRIDAY 8 MAY 2015
It's not often that I come across plants that I have absolutely no idea what they are. So for it to happen twice in one week. Usually the real challenge is finding out the variety/cultivar/sub-species of plant I am looking at, so to find two plants (ok one did turn out to be a bit of an obvious one) that I had not clue about was a real kicker!
WEDNESDAY 29 APRIL 2015
It was starting to feel like the height of summer, which is confusing for the poor plants. Not to mention the fact that the nights have been as cold as they should be for a mid April week, which means that all our frost tender plants just cannot go out yet. Even though they are cooking in the greenhouses!
MONDAY 20 APRIL 2015
As busy as I get, I hope I always have time to rescue amphibians from the Italian garden ponds. So far I'm up to 1 frog, a warty toad and 3 Smooth/Common newts. All rescued and placed in a very comfortable and stylish hat for transportation down to one of our wildlife ponds.
MONDAY 13 APRIL 2015
Having started working as the Head Gardener for Arley Arboretum (we do garden some of the Village too!) last month, I've had plenty of time to think. Well not really, I've been as busy as a Jack rabbit in July; with 7 greenhouses to organise, almost 50 acres of Arboretum to manage as well start organising plans to conquer the world....of gardening.