Gardener’s Blogs

A Busy Summer
30 August 2023

Well let’s not mutter too much about this summer’s weather. We’ve still got September to go!

Despite the lack of warmth this July and August we have had a good growing year in our melon pit.

We have come across a really good melon variety called ‘Pepito‘. It seems to be a winner with all of the team, with less tendency to cracking and plenty of fruits and good flavour. Visitors seem to enjoy looking in and seeing all the fruit hanging through the melon pit door, as they walk past.

Honestly the biggest challenge with the melons this year hasn’t been the growing of them but rather trying to find some good replacement melon nets! Thankfully the Head Gardener’s wife a.k.a. my good lady came to the rescue and has crocheted up some replacements and I added crocodile clips for speedy attachment. The clips save hours of pesky unfiddling of knots. The only nets on offer on the internet were either super cheap and a bit duff or super expensive and looked really good but both solutions came from halfway across the globe. Hmmm not on in my book.

Melon in a basket
Beautifully crocheted nets created by my good lady!

Regarding visitor numbers, It’s been a busy Summer here in the gardens with lots of visitors enjoying themselves. In particular we are pleased with the tremendous support the National Garden Scheme days have had. But I am curious to know why with all we have to look at in the Walled Garden it’s the Snapdragons that seem to get the most attention. They have had their photos taken so many times.

On a different note, I was recently having a conversation with a friend about one of the aspect of gardens that I think many people tend to forget. Light and shadows. Simply enjoying the light and the moods it can create in the garden is often an underrated experience.

Creation often gives us amazing spectacles with sunsets, shadows and shade. A case in point is this photograph of the three Black Poplar Trees beside the top lake here on the estate with the fence rails and the evening shadows. Really striking. And it was all for free!

Three Black Poplar Trees beside a lake
The three Black Poplar Trees beside the top lake on the Titsey Estate

I have to say, I don’t know how many times a day I must go from The Garden Office through into the Walled Garden. But one of the things I have learned over the years working in gardens is that it pays to put plants that give you joy and put a smile on your face between your office and your main destinations.

So with that in mind, I have added a new rose to my route, that I have wanted to grow for some years. I first heard about Rosa ‘Gloire de Dijon’ which dates from the early 1850s, from an old rosarian. He waxed lyrical about it, and so I investigated and thought ‘hmmm I’d like to grow one for myself one day.’

Rosa ‘ Gloire de Dijon ‘
Rosa ‘Gloire de Dijon‘

It has very quick to grow, and obviously it’s very happy in its new home. Most references say that ‘Gloire de Dijon‘ grows to 5m (or 15 foot in old money.)  So far ‘my pet plant‘ which started at a very humble 14 inches tall when I planted it this year,  has now successfully reached over 15 feet in height and started producing a lot of beautiful, scented blooms. So not bad for a first year. But it does get a lot of attention from yours truly!

So if you are in the Walled Garden and see it, I hope you it puts a wee smile on your face too.

What lies ahead in the gardens at Titsey. . . well lots of colour and harvesting, with the apples and pears for the delicious Titsey Place bottled fruit juices along with pumpkins & squashes and so much more….

Whatever comes your way this summer enjoy the rest of the season  . . . Rory