The Walled Gardens at Raby Castle are glorious in any season, and spring is no exception.

Last spring the Gardens were closed to visitors during the first National Lockdown, and much of the Garden Teams hard work went unseen by visitors. We are delighted that this spring visitors will again be able to enjoy this beautiful season in person at Raby.

Spring Highlights in the Walled Gardens

As the days grow steadily longer, the promise of springtime begins to emerge in the Walled Gardens – snowdrops (Galanthus) are the first spring flowers to appear. These delicate flowers are remarkably hardy, and can be seen in the Park and Gardens until the end of March.

Following soon after scented daffodils (Narcissus) and delicate Erythronium (dog’s tooth violet ‘Pagoda’) flowers bring a freshness to the gardens, and the first bursts of spring colour. Another spring favourite is the delicate Snake Heads (Fritillaria meleagris), which get its name from the chequered snakeskin pattern on their bell-shaped flowers.

Later in the month visitors can enjoy the pretty spring blossom on the magnificent fruit trees that line the walls of the garden, with varieties of apple, pear and plum trees in full bloom. The fruit trees and yellow Forsythia shrubs are a haven for bees and butterflies that return to the Walled Gardens throughout spring.

In the central Rose Garden, flanked by the magnificent yew hedges, the formal borders look spectacular with a varieties of tulips (including Angelique, Black Parrot and Webbers Parrot) bringing bright bursts of vibrant colour.

Later in spring frothy allium stems will provide a contrast to the neat lines of the box hedging

Watch our Garden mindfulness video for a preview of what’s in store.

Spring Tips from the Garden Team:

  • Clear borders removing any branches and dead foliage that may have gathered over the autumn and winter months. Gently aerate the soil and this will encourage new life to strike away for the spring. Collecting fallen stalks and dead branches from the borders helps prevent bacteria and pests infecting your plants.
  • Spring is a great time for a ‘Spring’ clean. Clean your greenhouse or cold frame by washing the glass (inside and outside) and removing any moss. Gently sterilize seed trays ready for summer and autumn growing.
  • Don’t forget to feed your borders. Fork in some good compost (or manure) into your garden borders which helps to put nutrients back into the soil. Do this gently so as not to disturb and spring bulbs you have planted.
  • Spring bulbs such as tulips, daffodils and crocus, are planted in the Autumn months. If you start your spring bulbs off in pots, March is a good time to plant your spring potted bulbs outdoors in borders or containers.
  • Spring is a good time to scarify your lawn, to get it in good condition for the warmer months ahead. Scarifying or raking the lawn helps to remove any moss and dead clippings, allowing the soil to breath. This also helps prevent the lawn from becoming water-logged.
  • Get planning for summer and think about your summer planting schemes. During the spring months plant out any tender stemmed summer plants. At Raby we plant out our Dahlia bulbs during the spring, ready for spectacular summer colour.
  • Take some time to enjoy your garden without any distractions. Spring is the season of new life and although there are always plenty of jobs to do in the garden, it is important to stop and appreciate the fruits of your labour too. Enjoy a cuppa as you listen to the birdsong.

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