Chances are if you've visited Millennium Country Park in recent years then you've definitely seen the handiwork of our dedicated Volunteer Gardens!

PaulineMike, Helen, Diane and David meet at Millennium Country Park every week - come rain or shine! - and look after the day-to-day maintenance of the garden areas that our visitors love so much.

Here they've given us an update on what they've been up to in the Park over the quieter winter months.

New Year in the Gardens

We have been busy over the winter, particularly in the Sensory and Wildlife Garden.

The Michaelmas Daisies have become rather invasive so we decided to thin them out. We  removed the ones on the front of the borders and also created pathways through them to enable a clearer view of the shrubs growing behind. We made the mistake of wearing our fleeces whilst doing this and we ended up covered in seed - which proved to be very difficult to remove! We returned the following week and wore waterproof clothing which deterred the seeds. Having removed some of the plants we cut back the remainder.

The shrub roses had also grown quite tall so needed to be pruned back. There were also a number of branches crossing over each other so we also removed these thus opening up the centre of the plants. This allows good ventilation through the shrub and should help keep them healthy.

There are a number of fruit trees growing together in one part of the garden and these also needed some attention. We used long handled loppers to take out the top of the trees and also thin out any branches that were crossing over. We also noticed some damage at the base of two of the trees caused, we think, by deer chewing the bark. This necessitated us tying plastic sacking around the base of these two trees to protect them.

There was also some damage in one of the new beds around the arbour. The lower shoots of the jasmine had been eaten and, surprisingly, the tops of the lavender had been eaten. In consequence we placed a wire cloche over this bed and also wired around the base of the jasmine. This should deter the animals (which we think were probably rabbits or deer).

We did some general clearing up and weeding as well as giving the buddleia a light prune.

It’s nice to see the spring flowers emerging at the moment. We have a few snowdrops in the Smudge Garden and the miniature daffodils are shooting. In the Sensory and Wildlife Garden there are some primroses and hellebores in full flower and the blossom on the daphnia is just breaking out with its lovely fragrance. There are a few hyacinths shooting through in the arbour beds and the pulmonaria is just about to flower.

We are all looking forward to the new season in the gardens and hope that our visitors will continue to enjoy them!

We need support to grow and look after our green spaces

Our volunteers kindly donate their time to help us plant trees and look after our Community Woodlands and Millennium Country Park. For just over £1 per week you can help support us too:

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