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- Spring 2022 in the Parsonage Garden

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‘Spring drew on……. and a greenness grew over those brown beds which, freshening daily suggested the thought that Hope traversed them at night and left each morning brighter traces of her steps. Flowers peeped out amongst the leaves, snowdrops, crocuses, purple auriculas and golden eyed pansies’ 
From Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre 
Time to prune the roses again, always a sure sign that spring is well and truly on the way and hopefully that winter has now done its worst. 
Signs of spring came to the garden early this year thanks to the unusually mild and sunny January we were blessed with. Indeed so mild was the weather that hardly a week passed by all winter without one of the roses still in flower and lifting our spirits. The hellebores were the first of the spring flowers to bloom, soon to be followed by the cheerful, welcome sight of the aconites and then in quick succession, swathes of snowdrops. 
Work in the garden continued throughout the winter with some planting and a little tidying, however less so than usual, in keeping with the decision taken last year that we would carry out only minimal clearance over the winter months in an effort to provide over-wintering habitats for insects and larvae and leave as much winter interest as we could by leaving seed heads and berries throughout the garden. With this in mind tasks were limited to removing unsightly debris as necessary to reveal the emerging bulbs, and keeping the lawn clear of leaves. 
One big change that took place during the winter months was the removal of the large Ash tree situated in the graveyard just to the side of the Parsonage which sadly succumbed to Ash tree dieback last summer. Trying to maintain a positive outlook, this will allow more light to fall on one of the shadiest parts of the garden and so bring the possibility of introducing new plants to the border which would not have flourished there before. 
February saw the gardening team gather together over a cuppa, to plan and look forward to the year ahead. It was lovely to have Jenny back in our midst now that she has made a good recovery following her ankle surgery back in the autumn. We decided that our main focus looking ahead will be on endeavouring to work more sustainably wherever possible and to have wildlife and biodiversity at the forefront of our decision making in the months ahead. We will look at creating our own compost to use within the garden on a larger scale than we are currently able to do and also investigate the possibility of harvesting rainwater. 

New planting will be carried out with the intention of attracting more bees, butterflies and other pollinators into the garden and a new bug hotel has been created to provide a habitat for them. The hotel has been made from offcuts and recycled materials and filled with foraged materials collected on woodland walks and so also fits in with the sustainable ethos. We are also looking at ways in which we can eliminate or at least reduce the use of plastics in the garden. 

All in all there will be a lot to keep us busy in the months ahead. 


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