Developing our Gardens

By Bhaktivedanta Manor’s Head Gardner, Narahari Rupa das:
Last spring we worked on the burning and composting area to make it more efficient to use, we leveled the area and set new gates to close the area off and keep the public safe.  We reseed the lawn where any mud patches appeared over winter and spread minerals to help with growth. Spring is when we sow seeds  for the flowers that  the deity department use in summer and plant the summer flower beds around the temple. We cut the box hedging in Srila Prabhupadas Garden.
In summer months trimming and mowing the lawns, grass areas and along the drive become a priority. There are over 20 grass covered areas and over 30 hedges to maintain, to keep the gardens looking inviting. We also check in on the Manor’s bumble bees and makes sure they have the frames they need. We know how important the bees are for our organic farm and flowering gardens!

The George Harrison and Prabhupada Gardens needs care all year round, but specifically in the summer we keep them  watered and weeded. We are constantly busy keeping the grounds clear of litter, especially after large numbers of visitors on Sundays or after festivals.  

When autumn and winter come we start driveway maintenance –  removing fallen leaves from the edges of the drive to prevent cars slipping, keeping  the drains on the driveway clear of leaves and mud to prevent flooding. Many of you will have also seen us cutting the hedges along the driveway, this hedge maintenance is important to improve the health of hedge,  as it is home to many animals and birds in spring and summer months. We dig up and store the dahlias for the following year and plant hyacinth bulbs. We also prune any trees in the orchard that need it, and safely remove any dangerous or fallen trees around the property.

When it is icy we take care of spreading salt on the driveway, Haveli and around the temple  to keep people safe. We plant winter flowers beds and shape the hedges around the temple.

Last year many volunteers came to help: Raking leaves around the lake and orchard, clearing weeds from paths, planting 1000’s of daffodils bulbs around the car park, spreading wood chips around the plant beds, cleaning coconuts from the lake and children from the Manor School came and planted oak trees in the wooded area which will grow to replace some of the older dead or dangerous trees that are now removed. 

“We are currently working on the Bhagavad Gita walk which leads around the lake. We are putting down approx  20 ton of new stones along the path and spreading wood-chips in the wooded area. That will make it look much nicer but will also make it easier to take the walk once the muddy parts are covered over.

We have many projects for this year to continue improving the gardens, such as repairing the fountain in Srila Prabhupada’s garden and the pagoda on the lake. We want to work on improving the appearance of the lake area and the island. Also we will continue to improve the grass growth on the geo-grid.”