3 Newts and 2 frogs later....

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.

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All rescued and placed in a very comfortable and stylish hat for transportation down to one of our wildlife ponds.

Its a damn shame that tulips don't last. They have had a good week out in the Italian gardens but now most of them have started going to seed. Which means were going to have to start the task of lifting and storing them away for next year. Chances are I will be replacing with a longer lasting display, given our earlier opening hours and increased visitor numbers. Plus I have a real hankering to get a Bellis perenis "Tasso" and Winter violets design made up for the autumn, Watch this space though as the geraniums will be going in soon and they are "good do'ers" as one of my volunteers would put it. Lasting all through the summer given the weather... granted it is a little early, but with the warmth we've been having, the plants are struggling to keep up with the weather!

Speaking of good do'ers! This is Pat, one of our senior volunteers.

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She's been doing alot of great work for the Arboretum in the absence of a Head Gardener, running the greenhouses (all 7 of them) with other staff and volunteers. She's done a cracking job!

Lots of work has been carrying on as usual, finishing off the wisteria prune last week, as well as logging up a few felled and wind blown trees around the estate. hard work, but hopefully it should pay off in the long run by having logs for sale this winter.

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Finally I'll leave you with this Rhododendron I noticed as I was doing my weekly jobs list, not as early as Christmas cheer, but its beaten allot of the others we have, I'll try and find out what it is.

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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!



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!



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.