National Gardens Festival Weekend - Cerney House Gardens
Come and join us on Sunday June 5th
Early June is perfect to visit the gardens, the roses are coming into flower, the herbaceous borders so full of colour,
& the walled garden is just magical
Hare and the Mayor
Cerney House are proud to be offering a home to one of the Cirencester Hares.
Our First Wedding
We’re pleased to announce that Trevor and Su’s wedding at Cerney House Gardens in May went really well and the weather was glorious!
This week has been nerve wracking for us due to a large group of 60 visitors. Yes we are used to large groups, however this was a group of 60 of the UKs’ head gardeners from all over the country! We’re glad to report the visit went well.
Keep a keen eye where you walk in Cerney House Gardens, we’re very lucky to have Roman Snails amongst our wildlife; this is a relatively rare species. Lastly the roses should be out in around a fortnight. The atmosphere at Cerney House Gardens is simply magical when the roses are in full bloom, the wall of scent that visitors experience is wonderful, if you’ve never been at this time of year please do drop by for a visit.
It's Tulip Time
The tulips at Cerney House Gardens are looking glorious, now is an excellent time to visit (before the deer eat them!). We’ve had a hub of activity this week with the new driveway being laid (no more ghastly pot holes – hurruh!). Also we’re very pleased with the facelift to the gazebo, it’s been beautifully painted/restored (after a tree fell on the side of it), it’s a now a really great focal point at the end of the walled garden.
Front Cover in Cirencester Life
Front cover of Cirencester Life! As you can see from the cover we have a superb full page photo of the garden in the summer. The feedback we’ve had from this coverage has been great, we hope to see some new faces at the gardens.
We’re pleased to announce the snowdrops were a glowing success this year and the hellebores put on a fantastic show too! Julie, Lauren, Sylvia and Fran are working hard ready for the tulip festival in April. James is being kept busy and has started mowing the lawn (no small task at Cerney House Gardens!).
Some of you may know we’re open for Charity the last two Sunday’s in April, so please do come along and support them.
Animal news – the bees have survived the cold winter, which is fantastic. The pigs have got fatter and Leo (the miniature pony) has moved in with the big horses now, we’ll let you know how he gets on soon.
The Bothy (tea / gift shop) has new produce for 2013 this includes new products from local supplier such as knit ware! We’re keen to support local trades people at Cerney House Gardens.
A rather large mushroom and a glowing review!
The latest news at Cerney House Gardens is the discovery of a large puff ball mushroom! As you can see from the photograph it’s huge and we were very excited to find a couple growing on the estate.
Also we’d like to thank the visitor who left this wonderful review on Trip Advisor:
“Maybe the Best Garden Ever:”
"We swooned with the scent of roses, the vistas up and down walkways to gazebos, benches, spots to sit and be impressed. Medicinals garden, herbs, edibles, laid out to enchant. And to our amazement, it was basically empty(bad weather forecast could explain that), but our luck was amazing in having an unexpected sunny morning. They also sell cheeses they make from local goats' milk - the one we bought is great!"
Summer is just round the corner...
We’d like to welcome our new gardener – Julie, who started a fortnight ago. Julie has become a fantastic edition to the team.
The paul's himalayan musk and fox gloves are out. The roses are coming out late this year, so it’s worth a visit to Cerney House Gardens in the next couple of weeks to see them in their full glory. The first crop of Sutton Foremost is appearing (potatoes) and the rest of the veg is coming up slowly.
Updates for those animal lovers - we have a new miniature pony Leo and a new pig Harvey to keep George company in the Orchard. The ducks have now moved to the chicken coop due to an unfortunate run in with a fox.
The Cerney Cheese team’s hard work on the cheese has paid off. Cerney Cheese has appeared at local farmers markets in – Gloucester, Cheltenham, Stow and Stroud. We’ve had some fantastic news recently Cerney Pepper has won “supreme champion” award at The Three Counties Show!
Buzzing with news this April
Our resident Bees are starting to awaken. There are three bee hives in the grounds and we’re delighted to say they’ve survived their first winter. We are anticipating our first honey harvest this May and hopefully a second in September.
We have 15 new ducks. They have been seen to picnic in the paddock and occasionally greeting our garden visitors . Visitors can purchase fresh duck eggs at The Bothy (café). Also available at the café is our scrummy Cerney Cheese.
We’d like to welcome Lauren our new full time gardener; she’s becoming a great asset to the team. In her previous career she was a pharmacist, so she’s thoroughly enjoying the outdoor lifestyle at Cerney House Gardens.
Despite the hosepipe ban the garden is a patchwork of colour, the stunning tulips are an on-going feature this month. In addition the Tree Peony in the walled garden is coming into flower, the fruit trees, Viburnums and Snake’s Head Fritillary are blossoming and the first rose of the season – the “Banksia rose” is out.
The fish in our pond have woken up for the summer and can been seen at the bottom of the garden.
Good news for regular visitors we’re looking into implementing season passes, once these have been formalised we will post the information on the website.
The New Year Begins
There is excitement at Cerney Gardens for the new season. With the unseasonal mild temperatures, plants are declaring themselves early. The snowdrops are already bursting through and are looking really good. The hellebores are also on the way as well as the aconites-which are in full flower. We are opening the garden early this year on Tuesday 31st January so you can enjoy them all at their best. Remember if you love our plants as much as we do there are plenty spare for sale- this year we are expanding our plant sales.
Fran, Sylvia, James and all the staff have not been in hibernation. They have all been busy getting things ready and tidying the debris from the high winds. Who knows what the weather will bring next!
Isabel is dusting off the cake tins- forget New Years resolutions the carrot and chocolate cake are on their way.
Be sure to look out for our fantastic article in the March edition of The English Garden- the photos really remind us of how good our tulip festival was last year. We are already taking lots of group bookings for this year so we think we are going to be busy.
So much so, we are looking for more help, both in the flower and kitchen garden. So if you are interested or know anyone that shares our passion for gardening let us know.
We are hoping the bees have survived the winter and will reward us with more of their delicious honey - we promise that this year we will share it. Look out for it on sale in the Bothy.
When visiting the garden, please feel free to welcome our two new males in the garden- the new cockerels! They caused discontent in the village on Christmas morning by being noisy and waking the neighbours, and were forced to seek emergency refuge narrowly avoiding potential early demise! The ladies have welcomed them and we hope if we keep them happy they will repay us with lots of eggs.
George the pig is now allowed to help Fran with the garden. He is proving quite an accomplished gardener but the dogs are very jealous of him
Cerney Pyramid wins Best Goat's Cheese at Three Counties Show
Cerney Cheese is delighted to have won first prize in the "Cheese made from goats milk" class at the Three Counties Show, with our Cerney Pyramid. Our Cerney Pepper also came third (after Daylesford Organic's entry), meaning we won 2 of the top 3 positions!
The Ornamental Poppies are Here!
It's been a really busy time with lots of lovely visitors.
Come and see our big beautiful Honor poppy named after the friend that gave it to us. This is Cerney's special poppy, an impressive flower with its huge red head that towers in the long border. We also have Patty's Plum, Indian Chief and Raspberry Ruffles.
The irises and early roses are coming, including Banksia and Cooper's Burmese. The tulip tree is out in flower.
The NGS day went really well in spite of the weather. Everyone loved the garden, spirits were high and the dogs loved it! The Roman snails are out in force look out for them- but please be careful not to step on them.
We have extended our tea shop. You can now enjoy your coffee and homemade-cake under one of the new gazebos. The blue and great tits have found it too and can be seen nestled in the Bothy wall caring for their babies.
The vegetable garden has produced a great crop of asparagus. The potatoes, onions and cabbages are fantastic too. The fruit looks promising. The perfect conditions of a cold winter and no late frosts have produced a bumper crop. The herb garden has been revived and the labels renewed.
Fran and Spike and all the dogs are busily making the Garden House their home. Sylvia continues the arduous process of correctly identifying and labelling the plants while James is busy tending the lawns. In the last few days he has had a bit of a panic as the lawnmower died on him. He is waiting anxiously for its return
Tulips are here!
Sorry for the big gap in the diary! Barbara and Angus have moved to France and are creating their own English garden to amaze the French. The old team of James, Sylvia, Gill and Fran are still working hard. We have two new recruits Carla and Zoe who are settling in nicely.
The snowdrops were stunning surprisingly so after the cold winter. Sorry if you missed it! The hellebores were amazing too and we think they stole centre stage from the snowdrops. We are planning to make them an even bigger feature next year with a 'Hellebore Festival' so watch this space.
The Tulip Fest is well under way. There is a riot of colour in the garden. We have Blueberry and Raspberry Ripple, Parrot and Fringe tulips, and our gorgeous Lily Flowered varieties, particularly Ballade which is my personal favourite. Come and see if you can name any more. The iris and peonies are on their way and the very first rose is in flower on the house wall. And we shouldn't forget the primroses which have surprised us all - they are fantastic.
The vegetable garden is looking smart. We have planted the potatoes Charlotte, Sutton Foremost and Pink Fir Apple and the vegetable seeds are all now appearing. We have our first crop of asparagus. Our award-winning Cerney Goat Cheese is now on sale in the garden.
Most Sunday afternoons the potters are working in the pottery. So don't forget to serve yourself a tea or coffee and a delicious home-baked cake and browse round the pottery and paintings for sale. You are very welcome to bring a picnic and use our picnic tables.
You may be greeted by a welcoming four-legged trio consisting of Dora (the sensible one), Poppy (the glamorous French tart) and Lily (the naughty terrier). You may also be guided round the garden by Pansy - our little tortoiseshell.
Introduce yourself to the two Kune-Kunes George and Charlie who are definitely never going to be on the menu. Our new project is the pond in the bottom of the front garden. Make sure you visit this part of the garden and see the new fish.
Come see the snowdrops at their peak!
The snowdrops are at their absolute peak at the moment, we'd love it if you could make it to see us this weekend before they pass!
Snow, Snowdrops and Hellebores
The snow has left us for now and we are taking advantage and tidying up as much as we can. I love this time of year as I wait excitedly for every emerging snowdrop.
There is always a worry that a special may fail to appear but so far we are looking good. As I look up through the woodland from my window I can see the spreading carpet taking on more white each day and areas that we divided last year are rewarding us with healthy white heads, stoically refusing to be bent by our very heavy snow fall.
The snow was lovely and breathtakingly beautiful for a while but lost its charm after a week when its inconvenience became more pressing. Even the children tired of snowmen and slides and were quite happy to return to school when it cleared.
Both the snowdrops and the hellebores are oblivious to the white stuff. It is just the gardeners that complain! I think that these two stars will synchronise beautifully this year and already the purple and white combinations look good enough to eat.
The usual early arrivals were on queue. Three ships, Faringdon Double, Peter Gatehouse, Colossus and Earliest of all began before Christmas and cheered us in the relentless demands of the festive season. But now the really absorbing time has started as the specials begin to reveal themselves.
Several of the favourites John Gray, Limetree, Lyn and the sandersii group are lovely in their early groups and I can see promising shoots on nearly everything else. I am really looking forward to Margaret Biddulph and Rosemary Burnham and of course 'Cerney' which is showing several shoots. I have a wish list this year for Yaffle, Vera Trum, Mr Blobby and Warley Longbow. Lets hope!
We have had two sad losses so far this year. Huggy my brother's huge, soppy Newfoundland left us last week and it will be an age before we stop stepping over her next to the Aga. And one of our ancient Beech trees fell and narrowly missed our courtyard wall. It really hurts when you loose a tree that has been around for around 250 years. I am looking at the other two companions with an anxious eye.
It may be registering 4 degrees but the sun is shining and the snowdrops are looking even more inviting and I really must go back out and tidy a little more.