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Winter Activity in the Garden

Almost all the main garden work here at Cwm Weeg is done in about 6 weeks in mid-winter by our gang of three: Tom Hill, Wolfgang Schaefer and Kingsley George. Some time between Christmas and the end of February, all the borders are cut back to the ground using a heavy duty brush cutter (Tom Hill), the debris is raked off and transported to the compost area (Tom, Wolfgang & Kingsley) and with the aid of front loader, quad bike and tipping trailer, Tom carts the mulch (digestate) to the various parts of the garden. Kingsley then rakes the digestate into wheelbarrows, Tom wheels it and tips it onto the border and finally I (Wolfgang) rake it to obtain an even covering of about 2 to 3 inches.

In that way we manage to spread up to 100 wheelbarrow loads a day, using almost 10 large lorry loads of digestate over the season.

The digestate helps to suppress all new weed growth throughout the summer but the established border perennials don't seem to have any trouble breaking through the mulch again in spring. We tend not to cover evergreens and those plants more sensitive to fresh digestate such as some new leaves of Alliums and Ajugas.

That way we manage to garden for the rest of the year without additional help, Wolfgang doing propagation, planting and border maintenance and Kingsley mowing the lawns and keeping the lawn edges sharp.

The Digestate is sourced from a bio-methane / electricity plant (Geraint and Lloyd Powell, Glanmiheli Farm, Kerry), the tipping trailer was fabricated by Powell James, Cwm Mule, Dolfor. Another essential requirement for this winter work are heavy duty re-cycled plastic ground protection mats, which allow us to drive over the lawns with quad bike and trailer without any damage.

Tom Strimming the Great Lawn Border, front third already finished with mulch. Note the access via ground protection mats.

Same border fully mulched, note the minimal colour marking of the lawn where the ground mats were left for 10 days. This becomes completely invisible after a couple of weeks.

Same border in summer

Another view on same border, early July

Tom with Quad and Trailer on Archery Lawn, lt side almost finished, rt. still to be done.

Kingsley filling wheelbarrow

Wolfgang raking the digestate

Same border in summer

freshly mulched area below Pavillion

same view in summer

another day, another border - Blue & White Border, Kingsley filling wheelbarrow

Blue & White Border, Tom bringing digestate

Wolfgang raking

Border finished

Same view as above, in June

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1 Comment

Ursula Fraikin
Ursula Fraikin
Feb 19, 2022

Wundervoller Garten. Diese Frühjahrsarbeit wäre auch etwas für unseren Kirchgarten! Ich hoffe den Garten in diesem Jahr wieder besuchen zu können, nach all diesem "CORONA". 😷 Es ist schade, das der Anfahrtsweg für mich so lange ist, sonst würde ich mich öfters im Jahr bei Euch zum Tee🍰 einladen und sicherlich immer ein Auto voller Freunde Eures Gartens mitbringen. Toll, dass Ihr den Garten auch in Bildern zeigt. Liebe Grüße aus Hessen, sendet Euch Ursula! 😂

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