As part of the one year scholarship at Tresco Abbey Garden, the students have the option of working in another garden for two weeks, to get a flavour of gardening in a different environment. I decided to take this opportunity to work in Bristol University Botanic Garden, and am just back, having spent the last two weeks of July working there. Under the guidance of Penny Harms, the glasshouse co-ordinator, I received a great experience of working in a glasshouse – taking cuttings and preparing them for the mist unit, potting on, watering and maintenance in the tropical glasshouse, and learnt all about Accession Numbers. The garden team at BBG– Penny, Andy, Froggy, Vicky, Kasha and Tom – were brilliant and they made my experience at BBG a really enjoyable one. Not to mention the many volunteers and friends of the garden who work there every week, especially Zaria who accommodated me in her home during my first week, and Carole and Martin who shared their home with me during my second week. Apart from learning lots, I really had a very enjoyable time with them all and was sad to leave even after such a short visit. As well as a great work experience, I made many friends and hope that we will keep in touch in the future.
And now back to Tresco Abbey Garden….so much has changed since I was last here three weeks ago. Many of the flowers that were in bloom then, are now going over, and we’re deadheading some of them now. For others, we’ll be seed collecting soon. Some of the Chilean plants that I propagated from seed in April and were really taking off, have grown so much that they have now been planted out in the garden. The peach house, which was packed with plants earlier in the year, is now half empty, but the sales glasshouse is full of Aeonium, Lampranthus and Argyranthemum, to mention but a few. Many of the vegetables sown a few months ago are now being harvested – celery, carrots, courgettes, marrows, tomatoes, aubergines and runner beans. The apple and plum trees in the orchard are laden with fruit but not quite ready for picking. The Hidcote Lavender which was so striking when it was flowering a few weeks ago has now gone over and could possibly be cut at this point to make dried flower sachets. And finally….eight new chickens arrived in the garden while I was away…they’ve settled in quite well and they’re laying eggs like there’s no tomorrow!