Preparing the Broadwalk Borders for planting
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Bloom with a view

Kew horticulturists Lucy Bell and Maija Ross explain why the Broad Walk team have been impersonating penguins and spray-painting the soil.
Date: 
19 April 2016
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Lucy Bell and Maija Ross
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Mulch ado about nothing

In our last post, we voiced our concern about the prospect of mulching all 320 metres of the Broad Walk borders and were very excited to reach the stirrup, half way down. So, we’re happy to report that we finished the mulching in early March, and by the end of the month had re-cut all the lawn-side bed edges, which has beautifully redefined the borders, putting them in good shape for the next stage of the project.


The rake’s progress

Mulching and cutting-out completed, we got stuck into preparing the final two beds for planting. With the expert and enthusiastic help of Kew apprentices, students and volunteers, we dug over the soil to relieve compaction. We then trod it down – we found that impersonating penguins whilst treading was highly effective – and raked it over thoroughly.

The aim of all this activity was to achieve as level a surface as possible for planting. The plants are to be the stars of the show, of course, so we are working flat out; indeed we are doing our level best to set the stage for them!


Photo of Richard Wilford marking out the design

Bloom with a view

It was with much excitement that we took delivery of plants last week, and so the final stage of planting began. Richard Wilford; designer of the Broad Walk, marked out the design on the beds with spray paint. Over two days, a large team planted up the bed nearest the Palm House Pond. 

There is a woodland theme in this, the smallest bed, with ferns, epimediums, exotic looking arisaemas, foxgloves and Japanese anemones, amongst other beauties. The hellebores around the yew pyramids provide a welcome splash of colour - hinting at the splendid displays to come. 

Over the next few weeks we’ll take delivery of the remaining plants, the salvias propagated and grown on here at Kew will take their place on the Broad Walk and we’ll continue with general maintenance; weeding and cutting back some of the herbaceous plants and grasses to make way for fresh new growth as we approach summer.

- Lucy Bell & Maija Ross  -



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