There’s no month like May, that time in the season where all the new leaves are fresh and vivid green with endless blossoms and flowers everywhere. This is also my first experience of May at Kinross House and with the fresh growth I can start to see all the plantings and designs done over the years by my predecessors going all the way back to the 1600’s.
Just two months ago we had tall, grey and twiggy shrubs we now have beautiful yellow flowering laburnum trees planted alongside the geometric lines of the House’s grand symmetry. Along the walls of the formal garden, where there was a mass of old twining stems and twigs, we now have an ancient (at least 100 years old) Japanese wisteria draped with its elegant purple spires, providing the perfect early summer backdrop to the herbaceous borders.
At the end of the tree line that follows the main drive down to the House are two large mature copper beech trees. They stand as sentinels, watching over the West Lawn. They must be at least 150 years old. It’s a strange thought but my forebearer who planted them did so knowing he would never see them as they stand now in their prime as it is only now his planned design can be seen.
As the seasons progress, more and more of these plantings will unveil themselves, like little messages from the past that say something about the period they were planted. However, the gardens legacy doesn’t end here, there are trees to be planted, shrubs to be pruned, areas to be developed and beds to be turned.
All for tomorrow.
Workwise in the garden, we are now in maintenance season, weeds to be hoed, grass to be cut, paths to be cleared.
Whilst in the Kitchen Garden we continue to sow for crop succession, beetroot, peas, broad beans and more. After seeing bite marks (that could easily be confused for caterpillar damage) we have netted our kale to protect it through its vulnerable stage from some hungry pigeons.
As all risk of frost has now passed, we have been putting all our tender plants outside, dahlias, Zantedeschia, and the bedding for the pots. As an interesting experiment this year we are growing a few varieties of sweetcorn. These were grown as seed in the greenhouse and were planted out in the beds last week. Looking forward to the first corn on the cobs in a few months’ time.
Now we are approaching the end of May and the season moves to summer I’m looking forward to finding out what other historic secrets the gardens have to offer.