Maintaining a Victorian Shrubbery


30th July 2017

| Posted in Seasonal , Historic Garden Maintenance

Edwards Garden Services has been working on the restoration and maintenance of this Grade II registered Victorian shrubbery since 2011. From the intial work focusing on restoration – the grove was a dense thicket, impenetrable and dark, the individual specimens lost on the undergrowth, work is slowly changing to a balance of routine maintenance. Variously called an arboretum, a shrubbery or a grove, I’m trying to use the description grove, as more than a collection of trees and shrubs, it is designed landscape.

Underneath a broad forest canopy of 1oo year old Katsura’s, Ginkgo’s, the fascinating Gutta-percha tree, a prominent Yellow Buckeye, Sassafras, cypress, cedars and maples, which this year included a Davidia flowering for the first time, the diverse shrub layer features a remarkable collection of plants. Rare Pittosporum’s, a Chilean firebush, Fringe-trees, Bladder-nuts, many Mock-oranges, Deutzia’s and berberis. An Oemleria, a Calycanthus, viburnums, Callicarpa and a Decaisnea can be stumbled across. One feature of these specimens is their maturity, planted by a succesion of knowledgable gardeners over the decades.

flowers on tree

Originally pleached, now pollarded, the Lime avenues of cut lawn divide the wooded enclosures equally. The open ride’s support good populations of Common-spotted and Twayblade Orchid which are managed as wildlfower meadows.

Management & maintenance of this grove currently entails a seasonal strim of the undergrowth and seasonal pruning of the flowering shrubs. The limes are pollarded on a 3 yearly rota. We plan to make the seasonal strim, which includes the woodland edge wildlfowers, earlier in the year as coarse grasses and tall herbs are becoming too dominant.

Before:

After:

Before:

After:

Before:

After:

A brief history of the design and some earlier work we carried out can be found here.

Victorian Shrubbery

A selection of plants from within the grove includes:

Chilean Firebush (Embothrium coccineum)

Japanese Snowbell (Styrax japonica)

Fringe Tree (Chionanthus virginicus)

Kastura (Cercidiphyllum japonicum)

Rosy Dipelta (Dipelta floribunda)

 

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