Garden News - Petersfield Physic Garden

Go to content

Main menu:

Garden News

Cutting the Lavender
Recent warm sunny days have brought the Lavender hedge into flower and so was ready to cut. Here two of the volunteers are inspecting the harvest prior to bunching it and making it available at the Garden Office.Fresh cut Lavender will last up to 10 days in water but it may be dried by removing from the water after 3 days. The brown parts of the stem should then be cut off and the bunches hung to dry upside down in a dark place.
June Plant Sale
The third in the series of Tuesday morning plant sales was held as planned in somewhat indifferent weather. The event was quieter than previous sales but £100 was raised for Garden funds.
Painters' Visit

On a sunny Tuesday in June members of Rowlands Castle Painting Society visited the Garden. One of their members allowed us to copy the impressions he took away with him.

A watercolour sketch of Petersfield Physic Garden by Bob Payne
May Plant Sale
An eager shopper arrives with an empty bag to fill choosing from the large variety of plants available at the May plant sale. Early sunshine encouraged the erection of the gazebo which later provided shelter from much needed rain. However, the morning was rated a success. Refreshments were appreciated, plants were purchased and the event raised £155 for Garden funds.

New Plant Sales Bench

With more interest developing for propagation in the Garden plant sales have taken off. The old sales bench just was not big enough to take all the new merchandise. Hence master craftsman and gardener Paul Barton got busy and has produced this smart new bench.
April Plant Sale
Sunshine was welcomed at the first of the season's plant sales. A number of eager gardening enthusiasts welcomed the opportunity to purchase a wide variety of plants many of which had been raised in the Garden.Tea and cakes were an additional draw and were being served in the exhibition hall to exhausted shoppers. The sale was very successful and raised a sum of over £200 to help maintain the Garden as a free attraction.
Plant Sales
We are holding plant sales to raise funds for the garden on the last Tuesday of April, May and June. We would be grateful to have your support either in the form of custom or of donated plants. Please see events page for further details.
Strip the Willow
Anticlockwise half turn A with d. Oh no! - that's not the way we do it in the Physic Garden. In this picture the gardeners are stripping the soaked Willow branches of their bark.This is then used as a summer plant stake for the tall herbs such as woad. Removal of the bark prevents the support from sprouting.
Terracotta Pots Initiative
In a new initiative Pauline and Sarah are making a feature of planted terracotta plants to add colour to the Garden. In C17 gardens, container-pots were often arranged in symmetrical patterns in parterres, placed on walls or set along terraces. These were often planted with imported exotic half hardy plants which could be moved into orangeries during the winter. We are awaiting the return of our lemon trees which have been over wintering in a conservatory.
Melanie Oxley has been out with her camera to record some of the Garden's early Spring Flowers

New Trellis

On two of the coldest days this winter two valiant volunteers undertook to replace the rotten trellis work behind the walnut tree. The results may be seen in the photograph. The new fence, which is attractive in itself is also sufficiently robust to make an effective screen for the Hotbins behind. There are currently no plans to replant the vines on the trellis but these may be replaced with planted pots.
The Garden reopened - Monday, February 4th
When the Garden reopened  visitors were able to experience the newly resurfaced paths and enjoy the colourful spring flowers which carpeted the orchard. Snowdrops, crocuses and aconites were all doing their very best to dispel the winter blues. Hidden Rock hunters could also have been in luck as the photo demonstrates.
Progress on the Paths

Work on the paths is well under way. The top layer of the old paths is scraped off and removed leaving a solid base. Two inches of new gravel is then spead over this firm foundation. The gravel is then compressed making a raised centre to allow drainage.
Once finished it is suggested that the paths should be allowed to cure giving the clay mixture time to set. The Garden will therefore remain closed after the contractors have left to allow this process to complete.
Garden Paths
As many of you are probably aware it had been decided to resurface all the paths in the Garden. These have become very worn in places which is particularly evident in wet weather. A firm called Helyers of Fareham have been instructed to carry out the work which will take place in January. This will necessitate closing the garden for the month although the Meeting Room will still be available. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause but hope to open again to visitors in February with shiny new paths.
Little and Large
The Physic Garden is still proving to be an excellent place to discover Hidden Rocks
Half Term Children's Art
The half term holiday provided another opportunity for children to practice their artistic skills in the meeting room of the Physic Garden. Vicki Ostersen returned, full of imagination, to provide inspiration for three sessions which were entittled 'Jungle! All about paint', 'My Street. Drawing and Chalk' and 'Mosaic'. As the titles suggest there was plenty of choice in the use of different materials and the decisions as to whether to work individually or collaboratively. Some stunning results were produced, as the photos below demonstrate, and there were lots of happy children and parents.
My Street
The Physic Garden continues to be an excellent place for finding Hidden Rocks.
Twinning Association student helps at Petersfield Physic Garden

Garden volunteers welcomed Lina as she helped sort out some of the woody prunings in Petersfield Physic Garden. An Engineering student in her first year, Lina is French and lives close to Barentin, Petersfield’s twin town.
Lina is staying with Joy Francis, a Physic Garden regular, who was delighted to hear that Lina is also fond of gardening. The group will benefit from her three week stay in Petersfield.

Physic Garden benefits from state of the art pruning ladder

Volunteers at Petersfield Physics Garden were amazed when our gardener, John Wade-Palmer, arrived with his new state-of-the-art tripod ladder, to prune and tidy the damson.

The ladder, a Niwacki, is made in Japan and has been in use for many years to deal with bamboo cutting and olive tree pruning, as well as orchard use. Its incredibly stable and versatile design makes pruning the trees in the Physic Garden much safer than with our conventional ladders. Being hollow aluminium, the ladder is light to carry around and packs down into a small space.

Our team of garden volunteers will be queueing up to have a turn on it!

Hellebore Drawing

Sometimes in dull moments when there are no visitors the garden stewards find that time can go slowly.

Not so for Pauline Elkins. In spare moments she applies her drawing talents to committing plants and flowers from the Garden to paper. She usually has her sketch pad and pencil to hand and is always eager to record a huge variety of interesting subjects.

Pauline's skills are demonstrated in the charming picture of the Hellebore which she created using a large number of coloured pencils.

She is hoping to exhibit some of her work at the Autumn show of Petersfield Arts and Crafts in the Physic Garden.
Broken Urn
One May morning gardeners were greeted by this sad sight. An urn which had stood by the back gate for many years was found shattered with no known explanation. The urn which was a gift to the Garden was made by Whichford Pottery and was a copy of that designed for the National Trust for Ham House near London. It was based on existing stone gate finials dating from about 1680 and was the sort of exuberant design which would have been appearing in English gardens at the time.
The tale thankfully has a happy ending as the Physic Garden is fortunate in having a very gifted volunteer in Paul who was able to collect all the broken pieces together and restore the urn to its former state.
Family Fun Day
On Bank Holiday Monday the Physic Garden was full of happiness and children like never before. In brilliant sunshine, outdoor entertainments filled the Garden. Under the direction of Vicki (art), Dawn (spontaneous storytelling) and Louise (plants) the children enjoyed collaborative drawing, mini mysteries and simple gardening including the search for scented herbs.
Sticking coloured leaves to the Spring Tree
Collabrative drawing - Creation of a beautiful garden
Concentrating on potting up a Lavender cutting
Copyright 2015. All rights reserved.
Back to content | Back to main menu