Staff and volunteers have spent the last fortnight on the mammoth task of planting more than fourteen thousand spring bulbs at Dyrham Park in South Gloucestershire.
Freezing conditions and heavy rain haven’t deterred their efforts to get the hyacinths and tulips in the ground ahead of the Christmas break so they’re ready to bloom next spring from March to May.
This year marks the first time they’ve been planted in the recently created Avenue Borders along the original 17th-century approach to the National Trust house.
Two thousand blue and white hyacinths were planted to form a border followed by 6400 tulips scattered in between existing plants.
Another new addition and exclusive to the West Terrace is the planting of more than a hundred flamed Rembrandt Tulips which provide a nod to the 17th-century.
A number of varieties have been included in the spring planting scheme for the garden for the first time including Tulip Abba and Hyacinth Delft Blue.
Sarah Jones, National Trust Senior Gardener says: ‘Every year our hyacinths and tulips offer a beautiful burst of spring colour to the garden. This coming year the displays normally seen around the pool borders will instead be centred on the Avenue and dotted throughout the orchard. Until just twelve months ago the Avenue was grass but a year on and the borders have been created and the bulbs are going in. We’re expecting a sea of spectacular spring colour leading up to the house. We have also tried to give a nod to the 17th-century with a display of flamed tulips in keeping with the time in the West Terrace.’
A total of 14,265 hyacinths and tulips have been planted totalling 25 kilos. Work began on planting them at the start of December following the first cold snap which helped to kill off any bugs or diseases in the soil. The bulbs will start to bloom in March taking the garden through to May.
Inspired by the 17th-century Johannes Kip engraving, Dyrham Park gardeners are working on an ongoing project to transform the garden. Work is underway to transform the formal gardens into a vibrant 21st-century garden with flavours of the past. The project is inspired by some key historical documents, including Johannes Kip’s 1712 engraving of Dyrham Park. Kip, a 17th-century artist, was noted for his illustrations of bird’s eye perspectives of the country houses and estates of the time.
The garden project also draws on modern day examples from sites such as the gardens at Versailles in France and at Het Loo in the Netherlands, which the garden team visited while the re-roofing project was underway. This project will be no ordinary restoration, but a reimagination and reflection of the spirit of the place.
More information is available on Dyrham Park at www.nationaltrust.org.uk/dyrham-park or telephone 0117 937 2501.