March in the Garden
The start of March brought with it the ‘beast from the east’ and an abundance of snow! This is the first proper covering of snow the gardens has had for nearly 10 years and with it came some extra special magic to the gardens. Despite the chilly blast, the plant life around the gardens is faring well and looks to be recovering, bringing fresh spring colour to the Estate.
The Gardening Team are going to be busy this month sowing vegetables and flowers in preparation for the garden to burst into life again.
Under the glass of The Peach House our delicately pink peach and apricot trees are alive with candy floss coloured blossoms. Now a happy haven for the few early queen bees emerging from a winter slumber in search of nectar and pollen. As peaches and apricots flower early in the year, before the bees and other pollinators have warmed up enough to emerged in force, we will be pollinating by hand over the next few weeks, to ensure a healthy fruit later in the summer. Next time you’re in the Gardens pop down to watch the team join the bees at work, turning flower to fruit. Across the way, our orange blossom in the Citrus House smells divine and is punctuated with zesty ripening fruit.
In the Jungle… the mighty Jungle, a large area has been cleared ready to be mulched and planted with Canna lilies and bananas palms. There is no lovelier and more uplifting sight whilst walking around the Jungle, taking in the tropical sights of the canna lilies and bananas to whisk the imagination away after a long-wet winter.
We are excited to say that the lambing season is well underway and this week has seen the arrival of three new lambs to the Home Farm with more on the way. Head to The Barn to meet our flock of expectant ewes and our ever-growing flock of fluffy little lambs.
On Easter Monday, Heligan will become home to four rare breed Oxford Sandy & Black piglets. These polka dot piggies’ will be a new breed for us and one we are excited to welcome and introduce to you all.
The month ahead is the perfect time for all amphibian lovers to spot the common frog and toad. Around the Estate there are a wide range of habitats suitable for frogs; with plenty of log and compost piles, and stones which provide a good space for hibernation and plenty of ponds for the frogs to mate and lay spawn. The Italian Garden pond is already home to a wealth of toad spawn!
New leases of life for March include fox cubs. Fox cubs are born deaf and blind and because they are unable to regulate their body temperature the vixen stays with them in the earth. This leaves the sole responsibility of food gathering up to the dog fox. If the male hasn’t brought home dinner in time the vixen will go to the mouth of the earth and give several contact calls, listen out to hear whether Mr Fox is in the Dog House! We hope to get footage of fox cubs on camera soon, so watch this space….