As part of the preparation for our 20 years celebrations, our Chinese Bronzes and Women’s Library collections will be closed from Monday 26 February, reopening with the rest of our new season on Thursday 21 March.

March Planting!

Another Compton Verney Grounds Blog post is overdue, and what better occasion than one to mark this blogs first Birthday! Yes it’s hard to believe a year has passed since its launch, but after many articles, lots of comments, likes and shares, and a little over 7000 views, it certainly seems to be worth the extra effort involved. Many thanks for joining in and sharing – long may it continue!

We’re looking forward to another year of articles, (hopefully a good few from the grounds team,) plus some images to maybe inspire a visit or two, or at least to keep our more distant supporters informed through the season.

Spring can be more than a little busy, but here is a quick update to mark the day that we’ve welcomed a delivery of shiny new plants for the garden! I have to admit there’s always excitement tinged with a little concern when a plant delivery wagon reverses in; wind sheet bulging, leaves poking out the sides, and stems tied down to keep them safe.


I shouldn’t have worried, as usual Bernhard’s supplied some lovely stock, which is now all watered and ready for planting. The stock is mostly heading for the Ice House Coppice, just across the lake from the mansion, to top up the screen planting and under-story planting in places. There’s also a handful of Oak trees to replace some failed specimens in the East Park area.

Over the last week or so we’ve restructured some of the herbaceous planting, and with volunteer help relocated these plants nearer the main buildings – where they’ll be more protected from our many nibbling rabbits! Back in the coppice, we’ll be focusing our efforts on herbaceous plants that are more resistant to attack, and as before we’re committed to native, woodland and in the main; eighteenth century varieties.


Our planting is always a trial, as often the case with gardening but we’ve already learned heaps in relation to how our site works; its little dry areas, the boggy bits, and the parts where badgers love to play. We hope each year to continue adding to the planting whilst giving due respect to wildlife, the location and its significant history.

Our new plants are mostly good old-fashioned varieties on this occasion to bulk up the present planting. Plants include Holly and Ivy (Ilex aquifolium and Hedera helix Hibernica,) Greater Periwinkle (Vinca major,) and Cherry Laurel (Prunus laurocerasus Rotundifolia). A few Smoke Trees (Cotinus coggygria,) and Christmas Box (Sarcococca hookeriana var. Digyna) have also been added for good measure.

There are a batch of Crab Apple trees (Malus sylvestris) that I’ve chosen, to build a second and more useful canopy above some mature Portugal Laurel shrubberies. I’m sure they’ll be lost in the coppice in no time as it is such a large area, but in terms of the over-all scheme – we’re getting there!


So there we have it, seventy-one holes to dig before the weather turns, and seventy-one new additions to the watering plan for this summer… For the moment I shall leave the update there, as the day is moving on fast and the kettle needs to go on!

Don’t forget you can enter your email address to receive these updates via email, and I’ll post images and comments via twitter using our usual hashtag #CVGrounds

Back soon – have a great spring!