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Over the last couple of weeks the weather has been wet and wild! The gardens and car park especially have suffered from flooding and water damage meaning that all the gardeners have been busy cleaning up! In the Formal Gardens we have been lifting the cannas from the Great Plat. We have two types, the Canna musifolia are the tall ones on the outside beds with banana like leaves and the smaller ones are Canna indica. In the spring we plunged the cannas into the beds whilst still in their pots, making it much easier to lift them out. The leaves of the cannas are cut back and we store the potted cannas in the greenhouse over winter. We have been chopping back the Bergenia x schmidtii that edge the Plat borders to stop them spreading too far into the beds. We simply take a spade and chop the plants back to the desired size. This is quite a big job so it was great to have the help of all our volunteers! Also this week we have finished chopping back the Mexican daisies in the walls and have given the orange trees in the Orangery a wash! The oranges were starting to show signs of sooty mould, so we wiped all the leaves with a cloth soaked in warm soapy water to stop the spread. Plants that will be looking good in the gardens over the next few weeks include the Skimmia japonica and Skimmia japonica 'Rubella'. The red Skimmia berries provide a bright splash of colour amongst the glossy evergreen foliage. The Magnolia stellata in the Shrubbery is coming into bud, a little earlier than usual!
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