Stirring a Hornet’s Nest

I’m glad to report that our west lawn has received its end of season cut, amidst much activity on site. Now part of our ongoing maintenance schedule for the lawn, we aim to carry out this activity each season in the pursuit of a richer wild flower sward – from 2016 we’ll be cutting this area from mid-summer.


Mowing the West Lawn at Compton Verney, ahead of baling. ©Compton Verney / Gary Webb 2014

I’m sure you’ll be aware that the west lawn is the chosen area for the Dan Pearson work next year; the aim being to mow a parterre into the sward, inspired by the work of William Morris. Therefore our activity across this west lawn moving forward is critical to the outcome of next years artistic endeavours. If you’d like to find out more about next years project – click here!


Baling operations on the West Lawn, with plinth removal in the distance. ©Compton Verney / Gary Webb 2014

Elsewhere in the grounds there is much de-installation work to remove plinth bases which so far is proceeding to plan. Even if you managed to see the Moore-Rodin exhibition this year, you will be forgiven (due to the captivating sculpture works) for not having noticed the solid foundations on which they sat. These are now being removed by local firm Isola, who will be reinstating the lawn areas to their original form. Let’s hope the weather resumes normal service very soon!

There’s always something happening in the grounds at Compton Verney. ©Compton Verney / Gary Webb 2014


Elsewhere, at an equally productive but thankfully more sedate pace; our borders are receiving some much-needed attention. Jenny, one of our grounds volunteers has been working through, methodically putting the borders to bed as they slow down for the cool season. This time of year presents opportunity to make slight changes having observed the borders throughout the year, so we’re reviewing things and making improvements as we go.


Jenny tending the Chapel Border at Compton Verney. ©Compton Verney / Gary Webb 2014


To end the week, whilst Adam has been busy supporting the on site teams, I scooped a rare trip out on the Massey to move and turn the compost heap. It certainly was an enjoyable venture, until the hornet’s nest I disturbed stopped play that is… I’m confident with my tractor skills, but stirring a hornets nest isn’t on my bucket list! I made a hasty retreat, leaving the hornets to re-group and settle down.


Turning the heap…. and yes – we do need more greenery! ©Compton Verney / Gary Webb 2014

I best leave the update there for now, as my task list for the day is growing by the minute. Thanks for stopping by and reading ‘Stirring a Hornet’s Nest’, do remember that you can register to receive updates every time an article is posted – just pop your email in the box provided!


Gary, Head of Landscape & Gardens