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