It is great that activities have been able to restart with groups at The Garden House. The Growth Team from Surrey Choices are back weekly with us, working on estate maintenance and projects such as the ditch water feature, feeding into the woodland pond, which has lain as a dormant project during lockdown, but we are now holding water!
We hosted a Welly Walk in July with the Cranleigh and District National Childbirth Trust (NCT) group who had a walk around the estate and enjoyed a piece of cake in The Garden (Thanks for the lovely cake, Molly!).
Steve has been back with his creative group of green woodworkers – Surrey Group of The Association of Pole Lathe Turners and Green Woodworkers
The amount of rain this year has been very useful for the development of our woodland which is now in its 8th year. We are suddenly finding that the canopy is closing in and shade can now be found along with a feeling of being ‘in’ the woodland, which is a new and pleasing development!
The walks around the estate are an increasingly immersive experience with wildflowers supporting many insects. Dragonflies and damselflies are busy around the ponds and crickets and grasshoppers can be heard in the tall grass.
In the garden this year, we have been busy installing irrigation to try and ease the amount of time required for watering. This has taken quite some time to work out, but now that we have become familiar with the components, it means that the tinkering and additions are much easier to deal with. Initially putting in ducting before paths were created was useful planning ahead for the irrigation system.
The Orchard has been a mixed bag this year. We have had good pears when we haven’t had good pears in recent years due to frost damage, and yet this April was said to be the coldest April in 60 years! Other crops, such as Bramley 20 and Discovery have come to all but nothing this year.