Picture taken by Mark, Head Gardener


We survived half term!

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. We had a new born lamb stay with us for the week, as well as the peacocks getting used to visitors for the first time and chickens escaping from their broken pen.

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I've wanted to rebuild the chicken pens for a while now as they are over 10 years old and could do with a spruce up.

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And here is the finished article, something a little more fitting for our chickens. I also might try and grow some berry bushes along them. This will help to entertain and feed the chickens at the same time.

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I suspect the peacocks were the main culprits in destroying the old chicken fence. They are free to roam and are constantly perching and flying into the chicken pens to steal their treats. The peacocks are at home in the Arboretum now and it’s not uncommon to see them wandering about in the Italian Garden or in the orchard. Watch this space, as they have been so successful thus far we might try and get a few more!

I've been working on adding a few extra features to the sensory garden. I thought I'd show you a little progress on what I've been up to, hopefully it will be finished in the next couple of weeks, but I am off for a week next week (woo hoo!) so it might be delayed until we can put all the pieces together. Can you guess what it is going to be?

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A blog is not a blog without some info on the actual gardening side! The long border requires a lot of hard work to get looking good. It wouldn’t look half as good as it does without the help of our volunteers. We have been lifting and thinning some of the more vigorous plants, like the Japanese Anemones and the Geraniums. If we hadn't spent some time doing this, there would be nothing but these as they tend to take over large areas quite quickly.

Here is also what has survived of the Meconopsis, the Blue poppies which do grow so well in the Arboretum. Not as many as I would have hoped but they are notoriously difficult. Hopefully these ones will be added to the collection and maybe we can hold a few back to sell, depending if there is any interest for something a little more unusual.

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I look forward to seeing you in the Arboretum, the Snowdrops and Daffodils are looking great right now and it is definitely worth a visit to see the Arboretum in the last thralls of winter.

See you all next time!


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...


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




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.