Curator’s Blog – April 2013

Curator’s Blog – April 2013

Well Easter has come and gone and the clocks have changed, all we need now is for the temperatures to climb,  such a slow start to spring. This however has been a bit of a blessing as it has enabled us to get on with a lot of ground work and mulching prior to the annual onslaught of weeds to challenge our meagre resources.

I was delighted to take delivery of some new trees for the garden  including Cedrus atlantica, Atlantic  cedar,  Tilia petiolaris silver pendant lime, Alnus incana ‘Aurea’ grey alder, Alnus cordata Italian alder,  Populus balsamifera  balsam poplar and Sorbus alnifolia Japanese rowan.

The Tilia and Cedrus are planted to be stately parkland trees in the sweeping vistas  up to the Great Glasshouse, whilst the alders are planted beside or near the Bog Garden following on from some of the restorative work that we have been undertaking this winter. The Sorbus with its fine autumn colour has been planted at the edge of Spring Woods near to the ice house. The Balsam Poplars are to be planted alongside the road that skirts the lake and provides the boundary to Woods of the World; these erect poplars are hopefully the start of an avenue that will define the natural boundary between the lake and the Woods of the World. One of the delights of these poplars is the sticky buds and balsamic odour, a wonderful and evocative fragrance that can fill the air.

In subsequent years we will start to identify places to plant specimen trees that will enhance our collections and add to the garden landscape. Whilst we are doing this we are also beginning the slow but steady removal of self-sown weed trees that have invaded the landscape during years of neglect, in particular trees at the head of Llyn Mawr have been removed, largely weedy alders and willows. For the first time in many years we are rediscovering the banks of the large lake and in the autumn this year we will begin to reveal more of the lake to reinterpret the Regency landscape of Paxton.

Simon Goodenough

Curator, National Botanic Garden of Wales

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