In order to make the Storeton Road entrance to the Arno much more welcoming, our volunteers Sian and Dave Turner have put in many hours of hard work during this Summer and early Autumn. To begin, they raised the canopy of the mature holly tree so that more light could get in and so that people passing by along Storeton Road would catch a glimpse of the beautiful park within and be tempted to enter. Previously, the area to the right as you enter was very congested with large Cherry laurel bushes, large fuchsia shrubs and mostly entangled with ground smothering ivy. It took many grueling hours to clear away the ivy and remove most of the laurels before replanting could even begin.
Once the space was opened out, it revealed the statuesque trunk of the oak tree and provided a beautiful view up into its branches from below. This dappled light is typical woodland conditions, as well as years of fallen leaves to improve the soil beneath. Some new, more well behaved and prettier shrubs were added along the boundary walls to add seasonal interest and fragrance.
1) Weigela 2) Philadelphus Belle Etoile 3) Pieris 4) Nandina Domestica 5) Abelia 6) Camellia
Once the shrubs had been planted and well watered in, attention turned to perennials and biennial foxgloves. These had to be able to withstand a certain amount of shade from the oak tree, holly tree and shrubs. The selection included native ferns, Red Campion, Brunnera, Pulmonaria and Libertia. There were already some ferns and Archangel growing towards the back where it was hidden previously.
1) Pulmonaria 2) Fern 3) Red Campion 4) Brunnera Silver Heart 5) Foxglove 6) Libertia
Finally, bulbs were planted in groups between the shrubs and perennials. Sixty Tete a tete dwarf daffodils bulbs, as well as Lily of the Valley were dotted around. As there are no Bluebells already in the Rose Garden, it was decided to try and grow our native English Bluebells, which are much daintier and only flower along one side of the stem. 100 of these were purchased from Naturescape and added to the woodland area.
1) Lily of the Valley 2) English Bluebell 3) Tete a Tete dwarf daffodil
This new area should gradually naturalize to create a beautiful Spring and early summer display followed by lush ferns interspersed with splashes of colour from the foxgloves and red Campion. A huge thank you to Sian and Dave for all their efforts in improving this space.