We had another workday on Tuesday. The weeds have started re-growing, so we dug over one of the beds and the front garden was weeded. The floor of the former greenhouse was also cleared along with a good deal of the ivy which was spreading down the back wall. The pots on the wall by the French windows were planted for the summer. A few of the old plants were worth keeping so we have planted them in one of the beds pending a more permanent location. Not dramatic progress but it is definitely getting better each session.
The most visible development this week has been cutting down one of the two box hedges which runs from the corner of the house. It was taking up a lot of space which we aim to use for more attractive planting, causing a damp problem where it touched the house and also making it difficult to get to the garden water tap. It was quite a big and not easy to get the roots out.
We have also finished uncovering the edge of the raised bed in the back corner of the garden next to Pound Street. It was lost in a mass of elm suckers and sea of wild garlic. I noticed some variation in the construction of the bed edge in my last blog and more have emerged. They seem to suggest some sort of alteration, probably during the period of Council ownership which started in 1939. What exactly was done and why is still unclear and something for future investigation.
We also made some adjustments to the safety barriers around the pond so the garden is ready for the return of visitors. The house reopens on 20 May for pre-booked visitors.
The summer hanging baskets have been placed at the front.
It is less than a month since we started work (20 April) and we have made much more progress that I hoped.
The good progress made by our brilliant volunteer team last week has continued into this. Several beds are now cleared of weeds. They will need weeding again over the summer to get the soil reasonably clean. We should be able to plant some areas in the autumn.
It was not as sunny as our sessions last week but that did have the advantage that the contrast between light and shade was less, so the garden was easier to photograph.
We have made one interesting discovery when clearing the edge of the raised beds in the back corner next to the Pound Street wall. The bed edging in this area is different from the main part of the bed. The edge of the latter is made of overburnt brick which was often used for decoration in Edwardian middle-class gardens and must have been bought for the purpose. The newly uncovered area looked as if it had been assembled from whatever was to hand. There is some brick and flint but much of it is broken concrete. Was this a late alternation made by Lily Kirk Edwards or was it done by the Council who bought the house in 1939-40? What was on the site before the alteration? We might be able to find out by carrying out a micro-excavation in the plant bed but this will have to wait until more of the border is cleared.
Honeywood Garden Project Blog
Follow our progress as we renovate the gardens at Honeywood Museum.