The festive season is already upon us and thoughts already turn to the new year and what it may bring.
It doesn’t feel so long ago that we were out mowing, pulling weeds and collecting in the crops. The wintry weather may be closing in now, but there’s still lots to do outside at Quarr Abbey.
We have made the usual seasonal shift of emphasis away from the more ornamental areas and vegetable plot onto the hedgerows, woodlands and paths of the estate and private enclosure. Much of this work is carried out in the ‘dormant season’, the time when most trees and shrubs go into a state of hibernation of sorts. Active growth ceases until the sap starts rising again in the warmer and lighter weather of the Spring. Many of our hedges are getting a good trim, well away from the bird nesting season, and trees are being planted. We are also replanting in gaps along the driveway and in our avenues.
The beds and borders are being grubbed out to remove the last of the fallen leaves and hardy weeds. Also, we are pruning any remaining finished foliage whilst trying to leave seed heads that overwintering birds might enjoy. A quick rake over also keeps these areas looking tidy and refreshed.
In the vegetable plot, runners from fruiting canes have been lifted and replanted to fill gaps in existing fruit cages. Also, a generous amount of well-rotted mulch has been applied to fallow areas and many of the plants and fruit trees. This will give time for it to break down into the soil, before it is re-sown with crops.
The hanging baskets around the teashop are more vibrant now they have been replanted. They now feature cyclamen for their Winter splash of colour.
We continue to carry out regular jobs, such as log-splitting, which provides a sustainable source of heat for the teashop and parts of the Abbey. We have a renewable supply of hardwoods and softwoods from the estate to see us through the Winter months. They will keep the season’s chills at bay.
From all at Quarr Abbey, Seasons Greetings.
Pictures by Matt Noyce.