Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Volunteers at Belvoir

Some of the work being carried out......

Volunteers rebuilding the surrounding Castle walls

As you may have seen from previous blogs, over the last few years the BTCV have been doing a fantastic job helping restore some of the walls surrounding Belvoir castle. A lot of these are in quite a state, with years of erosion and saplings, now enormous trees, which have literally grown through the stone work.  

The old stones have to removed, the soil behind dug out, the roots cut back and then the rebuilding starts using the old stones.  It is much harder than it looks as the walls have become misshapen over the years, so it all has to be done by eye.

Steps that have been hidden for years have been unearthed from thickets of nettles, brambles and thorny undergrowth. The volunteers come armed with sturdy sets of gauntlets, and a lot of good humour.  The Spring Gardens are now beginning the show the true beauty of their unique landscape.    There is always more to do as we have only just scratched the surface, but progress is good.

At the end of August the volunteers had a day off from rebuilding walls and gave us a day in the gardens.

The new rockery has been sprayed throughout the summer to keep the weeds at bay; this has done a good job but now the soil needed preparing for spring planting.  So it was fantastic to have 12 people helping me with the task.  It would have taken Martin and I over a week to achieve what the volunteers did in a day.

An army of weeders climbing the steep banks of rockery.

A well earned rest.....

The final result, some pulmonaria, a few narcissi, and a couple of Daphne shrubs, and a clean bed for spring planting.

Part of the smiling team....

We also have volunteers who come on a regular basis and have moved mountains in the gardens close to the castle.  They have helped with everything, from watering the pots, creating a veg garden and looking after the rose garden, all of which look wonderful, and without their help would be a much poorer place.

A really big thank to all our volunteers.

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