We love to wander round our gardens in summer months, the grass under our feet on our way to explore the borders in flower. But, making sure this happens is a huge job undertaken by the Garden Team. The grass pathways and south lawn are the main access points to the borders and throughout the year they take the impact of over 100,000 visitors or 200,000 feet!
Back in the 1930s when the family lived here the impact on the garden pathways was minimal, with family guests running down to the Mirror Pool in bare feet or playing hide- and- seek in the Bog Garden.
Grass is one of the most difficult plants to grow and maintain throughout the season. We follow a seasonal timetable of works for the pathways and main lawn areas along with a period of resting areas to help with recovery. This enables us to keep the pathways open for longer and to maintain the condition they are in today.
So what have we been up to recently?
This is a method of putting holes through the turf at intervals of 15cm or taking out a plug of turf so that a top dressing can be applied directly to the roots. This helps to relieve compaction and introduces air into the root system.
Depending on the area, a mix of loam (fertile soil containing decayed vegetation, clay and sand) is spread over the surface and brushed into the turf. This helps with the soil structure and helps to protect the turf.
This is the method used for raking the thatch and moss from the fine grasses. This will enable the grass to obtain more light and gain more moisture to enable the grasses to make a thicker sward.
Over the last few weeks we have been busy treating the South Lawn and carriageway in the above stages. So how do we continue to welcome a few thousand visitors over the next few weeks? We can’t cut off access to the whole lawn, but will be closing off half the lawn and then alternating, to rest the lawn whilst maintaining access through to our gardens. This will allow the grass seed to germinate, the top dressing will bed in and the fertiliser will start to activate.
So, what is next? Hopefully, work to the lawn and carriageway areas will be successful, and other areas are due to be worked on in April and May. No rest for the Garden Team for now!