Old Hall Gardens

What's Happening in the Gardens?

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Signs of Spring

Mating toads scrummage in the pond, and crocuses opening under the Tulip Tree.

mating toads crocuses

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Birds indoors and out

Birds indoors and out.

A birdy event hosted by Cowbridge Library on Saturday 26th was enjoyed by participants of all ages. Out in the gardens eagle eyes spotted and counted 12 different species of birds for the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch. Creative abilities came to the fore in making bird mobiles inside in the warm.

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<p><strong><a href="http://oldhallgardens.wordpress.com/2019/01/24/cutting-back-the-dead-wood/">Cutting back the dead wood</a></strong></p>

<p>It’s time to cut back old wood and spent flower stems. Margaret and Lyn (who recently joined us) were hard at work.</p>

Cutting back the dead wood

It’s time to cut back old wood and spent flower stems. Margaret and Lyn (who recently joined us) were hard at work.

<p><strong><a href="http://oldhallgardens.wordpress.com/2019/01/21/mimosa-blooms/">Mimosa blooms</a></strong></p>

<p>The Mimosa that we transplanted last year from Linda and Derek’s garden has settled in well and is blooming beautifully.</p>

Mimosa blooms

The Mimosa that we transplanted last year from Linda and Derek’s garden has settled in well and is blooming beautifully.

Thursday 17 January 2019

We were lucky with the weather on the day we had agreed to return to work in the Gardens after our Christmas break.

Rob and Linda decided to tackle the pond. It was amazing how many weeds they extracted!

Thursday 06 September 2018

After a long hot summer, the grass is finally growing faster than the Council mowers can keep up with! So we made a start by trimming the edges around the Dragon Garden. The Willow Cave was also in need of a good haircut!

Rob discovered that the Tulip Tree, which was in flower a few weeks ago, is now home to Harlequin Ladybirds and wasps, all feeding on aphids. We found at least four different Harlequin Ladybirds. They are quite different from our native species, and can be easily distinguished by the bright white markings on their heads.

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Rob managed to put together the full life cycle of the Harlequin within just a few leaves! We spotted: 

  • two differently patterned ladybirds mating
  • a few leaves with batches of eggs (bottom right: note the aphids for the grubs to feed on when they hatch!); 
  • a harlequin pupa (bottom left); 
  • and a harlequin chrysalis (top right) - this will turn into an adult ladybird.
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Thursday 12 July 2018

If you are walking through the gardens near the library, take a close look at the Tulip tree which is now in bloom.

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And as you pass near the magnificent Lime tree you can enjoy its heady scent; it doesn’t last for long, and we wish we could bottle it!

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The grass, meanwhile, is evidence of the weeks of drought. We are definitely looking forward to some rain now.

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Thursday 05 July 2018

There were not many of us working in the gardens this morning. First, Richard turned up with his electric hedge cutter:

Then John came to help with the shears:

And Margaret arrived in time to clear up their mess!

It was another very hot day, so Biga and Victoria weeded in the shade under the Lime tree.

We enjoyed our coffee break under the Lime also.

Thursday 28 June 2018

The weather has been so hot and dry and that even the ferns suffered in their shady corner of the gardens. Linda and Rob Nottage came to their rescue.

Working in the searing heat were Margaret, John and Richard, propping up the Macleaya which was starting to invade the library!

Thursday 21 June 2018

Rob spotted Blue Damselfies laying their eggs amongst the vegetation of the pond. They were not easy to spot but you can see their flashing blue.

Thursday 14 June 2018

Betty and John set about tidying the path by the Lime tree, cutting back the overhanging branches and trimming the vegetation on either side.

We reckon they did a neat job!

Weekend of 09–10 June 2018

We enjoyed a ‘works outing’ to The Hall at Abbey Cwm Hir on the Saturday.

Some of us stayed overnight nearby and visited Birtsmorton Court, near Malvern, on Sunday. The stunning gardens of this moated medieval manor house were open that afternoon as part of the National Gardens Scheme.