A Week in the Life of…

It is surreal to recognize that I have been living in England for exactly one month.  The time has flown by, but I have learned that experiences like these in our lives tend to do that. Now that I am settled in (it felt a bit like a trip until last week), I will share roughly what a typical week at Hidcote Manor Garden looks like as a TRIAD Fellow.

Hanging out on the ha-ha (recessed wall that when viewed from the top allows the landscape veiw to be uninhibited as it would be by a traditional fence).

Hanging out on the ha-ha (recessed wall that when viewed from the top allows the landscape veiw to be uninhibited as it would be by a traditional fence).

Our days begin at 8 AM where we head to the mess room and meet up with the garden team. Here we receive our assignments for the day. Tim and I are assigned to different parts of the garden and rotate around amongst the three different teams that look after separate areas of the garden. We do just about anything that needs doing; weeding, planting out, pruning, dead heading, staking, etc. We can customize our experience a bit by sharing what we are most interested in. Right now, enormous amounts of summer bedding plants are going out since the chance of frost has mostly passed. The garden overall is getting a tidy, with attention to detail being a big focus. We have two breaks during the day, for tea and for lunch, where the garden team returns to the mess. Work ends at 4:30 when we then we make our long commute back to the manor house.

The white garden after a full planting out. Much work has also been completed in the Old Garden, the Pillar Garden, the Kitchen Garden, and the Long Border.

The white garden after a full planting out. Much work has also been completed in the Old Garden, the Pillar Garden, the Kitchen Garden, and the Long Border.

Board that displays each gardener's plan of work for the week

Board that displays each gardener’s plan of work for the week

On Fridays we have a chance to study beyond our traditional garden experience. We use this time to handle administrative tasks such as logistics for our garden placements or to work on our blog posts. We complete a weekly plant identification where we walk around the garden, select some unique plants that are looking the best, take cuttings, and identify them. Then we label and place the cuttings on display for the public to see along with a description of where the plants can be found in the garden. We also frequently travel to other gardens on Fridays, learning the different scopes and purposes of public gardening.

We choose eight plants for the identification and place them in an area that visitors will pass by and view them

We choose eight plants for the identification and place them in an area that visitors will pass by and view them

Shot from Powis Castle and Garden, a National Trust property that we visited in Wales

Shot from Powis Castle and Garden, a National Trust property that we visited in Wales

The weekends are left to our own imagination and travel. We often take overnight trips to best see the country and its horticulture. In the past couple of weeks we toured many different parts of London and attended the BBC Gardener’s World Live Show in Birmingham. Additionally (and arguably most importantly) we rounded out the week by going to see Jurassic World…

Pretty cool concept for a show garden at BBC Gardener's World Live

Pretty cool concept for a show garden at BBC Gardener’s World Live

London

Thus far it has truly been time well spent in England, both professionally and personally. More to come soon!

– James

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