Grass Clippings

Around the grounds

This would have been the week of the GANT Tennis Championships at the Club. A time to celebrate grass tennis and enjoy a weekend of sport with fellow Members, friends, and family. It was not to be this year, but the grass courts are still looking magnificent, are playing well and after the rain of last week, the grass has revitalised and looks very inviting. The golf course has also enjoyed a bounce back this week and the emerald green has returned to most areas. Even the deep rough is showing signs of growth and looks happier. It is a perfect time to enjoy the Club and all the sports and garden features that we have on offer.

Speaking to several Members this week, the current situation has given them the opportunity of having time on their hands and allowed them to explore more of the grounds of the Club than they have done before. The comments were that they did not know we had so many facilities and items of interest within the gardens.  An old friend of mine, a native New Yorker for most of her life said to me once, you can spot a tourist a mile off, they are the only people looking up at the buildings in the city. Perhaps as the lock down period is slowly winding down, some of us still have a little more time to look up, down and around and explore the common but unfamiliar world which we take for granted.

Cousin Lane and Chatsworth

Planning permission has been granted by the City of London Corporation for a five-storey living wall to be built at 20 Cousin Lane using approximately two metric tonnes of recycled aluminium and 1.5 tonnes of compost, made from recycled garden waste. The project is the culmination of work between planners at the City Corporation, Veolia UK and Red Squirrel Architects to design a building representing circular economy principles and demonstrating how recycling plays an important role in protecting and preserving the environment. Cans that have been recovered from Veolia UK’s Materials Recovery Facility in Southwark, which sorts recycling collected from homes and businesses in the City of London, will be used in the process. They will be shredded and re-cast by a specialist metal fabricator near London into latticed modular honeycomb panels. The aluminium panels will be hung within a grid of recycled steel girders. Compost made from recycled garden waste will be used to plant an extensive wall and planter boxes on the buildings’ facades. The project is expected to be completed in 2021.

Chatsworth has reopened its garden with more than 50,000 new flowering perennials, shrubs, and trees as well as a new stone sculpture called Natural Course by the artist Laura Ellen Bacon. Home to the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, the Derbyshire estate’s garden will be open every day for pre-booked visits only. The house and farmyard will remain closed until further notice but, as part of a phased reopening, select food-to-go outlets and some shops may reopen from mid-June onwards. Thousands of new plants including huge drifts of Camissa and Candelabra Primula have filled four recently created open glades between the Cascade and the Grotto Pond to the south, part of the 15-acre former wilderness now known as Arcadia. At the same time, Laura Ellen Bacon has built a monumental sculptural installation, Natural Course, as the area’s centrepiece. It joins more than 20 sculptural works at Chatsworth by post-war masters including Antony Gormley, Angela Conner, Elisabeth Frink, Allen Jones, Michael Craig-Martin and Barry Flanagan. Both Natural Course and the latest planting are part of the transformation of a 25-acre section of the historic garden, the biggest at Chatsworth for nearly 200 years. The new, wet glade in the Arcadia area, to be known as the Bog Garden, has gained more than 34,000 new plants and bulbs including 8000 Camassia grown onsite in Chatsworth’s own nursery. Drifts of more than 2000 Candelabra Primula in six different varieties have been planted as well as Iris, Rodgersia, Gunnera, swamp cypress (Taxodium), royal ferns and other plants able to thrive in damp conditions such as pond edges, stream banks or damp shady borders. Work has continued along the Trout Stream. Planting will feature some 7,000 additional plants familiar to the woodland floor, such as Tiarella and Helleborus. The foundations of Chatsworth’s present garden and park were laid out by William Kent and Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown in the 18th century and Joseph Paxton in the 19th century building on nearly 500 years of careful cultivation. Although some points of interest have been replaced to make way for new fashions, the garden retains many early features, including the Canal Pond, Cascade and Duke’s Greenhouse. The famous waterworks include the 300-year-old Cascade, the Willow Tree Fountain, and the impressive, gravity-fed Emperor Fountain, which reaches heights of up to 90m.

Watch Member and Blue Badge Guide Viv Haxby’s recent YouTube video about Chatsworth

Home time

For new and stalwart gardeners, mid-June is a time to plan for the end-of-summer colour to keep the borders full of blooms into October. There is still time to plant seeds and still have a display ready for planting by September. Other jobs for now include:

Trim off the excess trailing growth off hanging baskets and pinch back plants and dead material to encourage bushy new growth for the rest of the season.

♣ Continue to thin out drifts of hardy annuals if they are overcrowded.

♣ Lift and divide clumps of snowdrops and bluebells once the leaves start to yellow. Doing this will increase the amount of plants you have for years to come.

♣ Pinch out the tips of fuchsias to encourage a bushy habit and more flowers.

♣ Start to pick sweet peas as soon as they flower to encourage more blooms. Repeat this on a cycle of every 14 days so you extend the flowering period into late summer

♣ Dead head your roses if they are repeat-flowering types. Take back the steam to a leaf intersection which will encourage new growth.

♣ Towards the end of June, if your hardy geraniums have finished flowering, cut them back to encourage new foliage and flowers.

Peter Bradburn | Course and Grounds Manager |