Welcome to the latest news from the grounds team at Compton Verney – Landscape & Garden Update – 3.02.17.
The grounds team were relieved to reach the end of 2016 following a very hectic year which brought a new Welcome Centre, continual adjustments to the park, creation of a new building for the grounds team and much more. Despite the extra work, all of the items were received with open arms and certainly improve the operation, accessibility and offer at Compton Verney – we now have a very happy and hopefully more efficient grounds team! Below is a photo of our new building, less its planting scheme which is next on the list of projects – how fortunate we are!
As we move through the winter we’re getting used to our new workshop and are gradually finding the right place for everything. As you can imagine there are a lot of randomly sized and shaped tools, but with a creative eye and an up-cycling approach we’re rapidly becoming the storage kings of Compton Verney!
Oh, for the record, and in case you haven’t yet picked up – Compton Verney are opening the Welcome Centre and Parkland earlier in 2017; from the 18th of February (Although not the galleries/main building). This will of course give an earlier opportunity to see our wonderful Winter Aconites that are massed beneath the Lime Trees on the West Lawn. To supplement our early spring flowers we generally plant bulbs to a naturalised style every autumn; not only for early season visitors but for early pollinators too – we’re very proud of our ‘Local Wildlife Site’ status and are doing all we can to strengthen our offer to wildlife.
In hope of a more colourful spring, we last autumn turned our attention to the newly surfaced path route from the Welcome Centre to the Willow Tunnel. We chose some heritage daffodils in keeping with the period nature of the landscape. Wild daffodil, or Lent Lily as it’s better known (Narcissus pseudonarcissus,) Single or Common Jonquil, (Narcissus jonquilla), and also some Narcissus ‘Double Campernelle’ went into the ground, and as long as the rabbits leave us a few, we should be seeing the new shoots coming through very soon.
In addition to the daffodils there’s always a good show of single snowdrops to see at Compton Verney. The key location is the large bank that sweeps down to the middle pool, where the gallery can be seen across the water. It’s a very well established bank of snowdrops, and we lift and divide some each year after flowering to plant alongside the woodland paths where conditions are suitable. The division work over the last few years continues to establish throughout the coppice.
We’re presently busy with winter maintenance such as clearing some of the more thuggish weeds and winter coppicing. (Ensuring we phase these sort of operations to ensure a good deal of ‘wilder’ habitat remains on offer). We’re also seeing the start of ‘The Clearing’ installation, keeping the site clean and tidy and as ice free where possible, and cleaning and treating winter benches with oil. We’re also topping up bird feeders regularly, and working on some new (hopefully squirrel resistant) feeders for the bird hide. Oh yes – we’ll also be putting some new nest boxes out very soon, in time for nesting season!
Now is a good time for cleaning out old nest boxes (study them first to make sure they’re not already in use!) and for erecting new boxes – it will soon be National Nest Box Week (14th to 21st February) and more information can be found via clicking here. We have lots of scope for positioning boxes in our landscape of course, but do please join in and put a box up at home – everyone counts.
We’re very much looking forward to sharing our early season flowers with visitors this year, especially our wonderful display of Winter Aconites that go largely unseen – usually. If you do find yourself in the south Warwickshire area from the 18th, do pop along for a while, fill your lungs with fresh air and enjoy watching the waterfowl at play on the middle pool.
Hoping to see you around, in the mean time – do web-search #CVgrounds to see the latest grounds images we have been sharing!
Gary, Head of Landscape & Gardens. Compton Verney