Work inside the glasshouses continues apace. The annual vine scraping is underway (yes literally scraping every bit of loose bark off with pen-knives to remove anywhere for mealy bugs among other baddies to hide!). Other areas are being pruned and scrubbed ready for the new growing season and, in the 1st Duke’s and Display glasshouses Camellias are already blooming. The area that needs most attention is the tropical section of the Display House; because of the high temperature and humidity everything seems to grow as you watch. Particularly plants such as the ‘Cavendish’ dwarf banana and sugar cane need regularly chopping back to keep them from spilling across the path and into the pond! As the largest tree, the Pawpaw has from time to time to be seriously reduced in height; and this winter with the tips and fruit touching the glass it was that time! As you can see it has been cut back to the trunk from which it will shoot and quickly be producing wonderful fruit again, you can just see the last of this year’s un-ripened fruit over Ian’s shoulder.

Steve Porter
Acting Head of Gardens and Domain

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