This week I have been enjoying early mornings down in the rose arbour, I head off from the Castle armed with a fork and gardening gloves. As I make my way past the courtyard four of our lovely Nepalese staff (who usually help in the tearooms) come to my aid and we walk down the hill together.
The arbour was one of my bright ideas about 3 years ago: I wanted to do something in memory of my mother. So with my 5 sisters we put a plan together and decided to also plant a walnut walk leading to the arbour, which will one day be a mass of beautiful and heady scented roses as well as a peaceful place to bring back fond memories. Currently it is a large circle of messy weeds and stamped ground with newly planted roses against the arches.
My bright idea of the arbour, turned out to be something of an enterprise to create. I spent a lot of time clearing and making it a flat area. Then measurements and diameters needed to be worked out, Sid and Sam (great men who help around the Estate) helped do this with lengths of string and lots of walking around in circles.
Now that I have seen the arbour start to develop I decided that I also wanted to under-plant it with camomile seeds which I hope will give much pleasure to visitors as well as myself. Hence why I was weeding! I do not wish to miss the chance to seed the camomile this spring.
It was a large depressing area to face on my first morning, but I divided it into quadrants and off we set, looking up frequently and wishing the grey clouds away. I had marked out one quadrant so badly I thought for a moment the central path would have to bend, but then I realised with relief it was just my bad geometry.
The dogs have loved this project and helped with the digging in their own way although never in the right place. By 9am, at the end of each mornings weeding work, we were trudging back up the hill to the Castle – with the promise of hot coffee and croissants.
It’s been a huge job, but we have done it! Great job team!