Littledean Roman Temple Site

2500 years of history and still going

New trees for a new year.

We are currently in the process of added more trees for our grove.  It was mostly made up of Rowan and Crab Apples until last year when we added some cherries, wild pear and plum trees. This year we are increasing the diversity even more by adding further Crab apple trees but this time of named varieties as well as named apples, pears and plums.  We hope to be underplanting the trees with soft fruit varieties to increase both the productivity and habitat of the area.  All of our produce is shared with nature, we do not net or use any chemicals.

Our native crab apple trees are about 9 years old and we are hoping that this year they will choose to flower and fruit for the first time.  It is wonderful to see the different habits of tree species.  The Rowans have been flowering and fruiting since the second year and now produce a giant crop every autumn.  We did try some Apple and Rowan jelly from the produce which was sharp and sweet at the same time and went well with meats and cheeses.  Definitely one to try if you can – but do leave some berries for the birds!

Posted 1 month, 3 weeks ago at 10:20 pm by Katie Wright.

April showers, May flowers…

What a funny year it has been for the weather, but however it has felt for us it seems to have produced a beautiful affect in our apple orchard, with the blossom being fantastic.

These photos weren’t taken at the absolute peak of the blossom, so we shall leave that to your imaginations.  Enjoy….

Early Victoria Apple blossomClose up of one of the “Early Victoria” apple blossoms

Flowers on one of the young treesFlowers on one of our younger trees

View down one of the rowsLooking down one of the rows of the orchard

Apple FlowersBlossoms on my favourite “Sterling Castle” apple trees

Japanese MapleOur Japanese Maple

Cherry treeThe Cherry tree (the blossom has gone over)

We are looking forward to a great summer, I have noticed that some of the blossom has set on the apple trees so here’s hoping for a good crop too.

Posted 10 months, 2 weeks ago at 7:35 pm by Katie Wright.

Spring Flowers at LittleDean Hall

We are always blessed with the spring flowers in and area LittleDean Hall in Gloucestershire.  Despite the rain and cold this year they are just as lovely, if not more so because of those same reasons.  Amongst others we have Daffodils, wild primroses, wild viola, planted primroses, aconites and windflowers and soon will be the bluebells and the lady’s smock.

Tete a Tete DaffodilsTete a Tete Dafodils.  They look great in a pot and cheer up dull corners

Daffodils and HearteaseThe Heartease are just starting to go over, but this is their second flush.

Native PrimroseOne of many Primroses, this one is a bit sleepy though!

Purple PrimrosesA Single Purple PrimroseThey may not be native but they are so pretty.

Posted 1 year ago at 1:42 pm by Katie Wright.

New Herb Patch

With the weather warming, we, at Littledean Hall Gardens, have had to get on with those important end of winter jobs.  One of these was to cut all our basket willows back, leaving us with lovely bundles of green, brown and yellow wands.  I have had a image of a small herb patch in my head for a little while and this harvest allowed me to get on with bringing it to reality.

The area sits at the end of the vegetable garden and covers about 2meters by 4meters.  I have in-situ woven 4 willow pots at each corner and then divided the internal are cross ways into four with low willow hurdling.  We have a small standard Bay tree in the centre of the cross.  Along the edges I am training Lavender, Rosemary and Sage into low hedges.  The internal areas will be planted up with perennials and annual herbs including echinacea, thyme, chives and basil.

Our newly planted Herb Patch

Our newly planted Herb Patch

I think it adds a little touch of formality amongst the general chaos of our veg garden!

Image showing our newly planted herb area

Image showing our newly planted herb area

Posted 1 year ago at 10:43 am by Katie Wright.

Spring is coming?

After having so much snow this little bit of more mild weather has been a relief.  Just the temperature rising that little bit has started the earth stirring.  The snowdrops are out in Newnham and there are daffodils and other spring flowers staring to poke their green heads through the chilly ground to bring cheer to all of us missing their joy.

We had our first strong wind, could hardly be called a gale, the other day which, other than upsetting the plastic moveable greenhouse, just seemed to call into action life even further.  Unfortunately during the snows a few of the smaller branches came off the great Cedar tree, leaving what feels to us a big gapping hole in the canopy, but really just adds to the tree’s gnarly charm.

We hope that our newly planted nut walk will, when it is ready, burst into life and put on a green gown to highlight this future major feature of the lower walled garden.  Until then we continue to chip away at the mountain of work, enjoyable though it is, until spring really hits in and the cutting, pruning and trimming ceases for another year.

Posted 1 year, 1 month ago at 1:28 pm by Katie Wright.