- Several stunning glasshouses re-open at West Dean Gardens -
- Hester Forde to host two online garden courses -
Spring has sprung at West Dean Gardens, near Chichester in West Sussex and to celebrate, some of their iconic glasshouses have just re-opened to local visitors and walkers between 10.30am to 5pm each day. Entry costs £11 (Pre-booking is essential), children under 16 are free and last entry is 30 minutes before closing time.
As Tom Brown, Head Gardener at West Dean Gardens, commented: “In terms of Spring highlights, we now have a number of glasshouses open with social distancing and hand sanitising measures in place. The most eye-catching at the moment is the colourful bulb display which includes Species tulips, Hyacinths, Daffodils, Lachenalia, Scilla and Fritillaries. Other glasshouses offer great inspiration and comprise a baby leaf display, plus the nectarine, peach and apricot blossom is looking good. The magnolias are ready to burst in the Spring Garden with lots of spring bulbs in our meadows.”
To coincide with this Kelly Dyer, Glasshouse Gardener at West Dean Gardens has shared her top 10 tips for growing house plants. She explains: “As we have been in lockdown, people have had more time to appreciate their homes and for those who, maybe don't have a garden, houseplants have become hugely popular. My initial advice is to keep the temperature in your rooms consistent. Avoid positioning pots in draughty areas like doorways and above radiators, and most importantly be attentive to your plants by deadheading them when the flowers are spent, removing any fallen leaves, pruning off any dead or dying stems. In my experience, hygiene is the key to a happy and healthy plant!
She goes on to say: “If you notice pests like white fly, aphid or scale, make up a solution of dishwashing liquid and water and spray the foliage, washing off the pests but also providing a viscous layer that will prevent sapsuckers from penetrating the plant tissue.”
For those who cannot currently visit the gardens, West Dean College of Arts and Conservation is also offering more ideas to get gardening this Spring, with two live online gardening courses, with renowned plantsperson, lecturer and garden writer Hester Forde, which cost £30 each and are suitable for all. Snowdrops – White Gold will take place on Saturday, March 13 2021 between 3-5pm. The talk, which is delivered over Zoom, includes a Q&A session and will look at the beauty of this winter grower when little else is in bloom. Hester will reveal a brief background to snowdrops, the different species, some of the best hybrids, practical tips on growing, feeding, and propagation as well as how best to incorporate snowdrops into your winter or spring garden and some great plant combinations with snowdrops. While on Saturday, April 10, 2021, between 3-5pm, Hester will be talking about Enchanting Plants, which will help those with small gardens maximise the space they have and grow more unusual plants.
In addition to the these online courses, the West Dean College of Arts and Conservation has also released other live and self-paced online short courses that are suitable for all abilities, in a variety of subjects including painting, drawing and tapestry weaving - including some with optional craft boxes. See all online short courses here.
GARDEN FAQs: Toilet facilities will be available and a stringent cleaning regime is in place. More details and guidelines for on ensuring a safe visit can be found on the website here.