spring pruning

gardens

O P E N  G A R D E N  D A Y  W I T H  C L A I R E

So last week we introduced you to Claire, our new Head Gardener, just in time for our Open Garden Day. Well we thought it might be nice to get to know her a little better and get an insight to what she has in store for the Gardens. Here’s what she had to say when we caught up with her last week…

Psst… a must read for those attending the Open Garden Day, there may be some inside info on what to look out for ;)

We’d love to know how you ended up in the beautiful world of gardening, where did it all start for you?

I used to volunteer for the local council where I grew up in Rochdale, helping to restore their public parks which had become over grown and dilapidated over the decades. I loved this so much that I decided to do a degree in horticulture. Whilst doing my degree in York, I continued to volunteer at local historic gardens, Middlethorpe Hall & Harewood House, to gain more practical experience. I then went on to work as a gardener for the National Trust.

Wow so you’ve been doing this for a while! You must have some favourites amongst the different plants and flowers?

My very favourite is Dierama (Angle’s Fishing Rod). Alas, we have none in the garden at the moment, but I’d like to plant some to gracefully sway around the pond next Spring.
My second favourite is Persicaria. We currently have Persicaria Bistorta flowering in the herbaceous borders, its abundance of marshmellowy pink pom-pom flowers are a treat at this time of year.
Persicaria.jpg

Persicaria Bistorta

One of Claire’s favourites, you can find this around the pond walkways.

Looks beautiful, definitely something to look out for when visiting the Gardens. What were your first impressions on your first visit to the Hall?

Driving along the single-track road for what seemed like an age, I initially thought I was lost until I came around the corner and under the bridge, when Saltmarshe opened up in front of me. My first impression was ‘wow’. Once in the garden, I was taken aback by the timeless charm created by the Yew buttresses around the Walled Garden and the abundance of Lady’s Mantle & Roses. The borders are ‘choka’ block full of beautiful and interesting plants and I couldn’t wait to get stuck in and start clearing around the Peonies and Persicaria.

That’s so great to hear, the Gardens are something we are very proud of, and can only be enhanced by someone with your experience and knowledge. What are your short term and long term plans for the Gardens?

There were a lot of empty beds when I got started. I have been working with the garden team to fill these with existing plants in the garden and sweet pea obelisks. The team have been busy giving the hedges their end of spring prune and I will be working hard over the next month to weed and thin out the herbaceous borders. Long term, we’ll be developing the design of the herbaceous borders and establishing areas of wildflower.
Walled Garden Pergola.jpg

Walled Garden Pergola

Claire has filled some beds in this area, giving it a lovely pop of colour.

Ohh it’s so exciting, all sounds great and its amazing how much difference that spring prune has made to those hedges, just in time for the Open Garden Day. Are there any other highlights in the Gardens people should be looking out for?

The David Austin Roses in the Walled Garden are beginning to flower. Each one has a different scent but they all smell divine.
Garden Plant 1.jpg

David Austin Rose

Find these by the Pergola in the Walled Garden and take in their gorgeous scents!

It’s been so great getting to know a little more about you and the plans you have here in the Gardens. I’m sure you’ll get many more intrigued guests with their questions at the Open Garden Day. Finally, what advice would you give to those keen gardeners out there?

Always rake your foot prints out of the soil once you’re finished. Whether the bed is empty or full, it will look ten times better without big steel toe cap foot prints running through it!
Claire.jpg

Thank you Claire!

Claire will be around at the Open Garden Day to show you her work and answer any of your questions.

Big thanks to Claire for sparing a few minutes for us, it was nice to get out into the Gardens 🍃🌺

We hope you join us on Sunday 16th June (yes bring the father! 😉) from 12-4pm the Gardens will be yours to enjoy. We also have a few times left if you would like a Cream Tea, Afternoon Tea or Picnic! 

 📞 Call us on 01430 434920 or

💻 Email info@saltmarshehall.com

Please feel free to add any comments below, questions for Claire or just general enquiries, we would love to hear from you!