We have finally got some colour back in the garden here at our hotel in Wales and we couldn’t be happier about it. We are lucky enough to have a green thumb or two snooping about the hotel, so our garden is in good hands. But we know that gardening is not everyone’s calling, so we thought we would share a few tips from the potting shed to help you getting your garden looking tip top and Spring fresh.
Our biggest and brightest Spring blooms come in the form of our vast collection of comely camellias and our burgeoning crop of daffodils, so we’re going to give you the know how to grow these two Spring favourites for yourself.
Camellias are a beautiful addition to your Spring garden, and are usually the first buds to burst into life; always providing a much needed pick me up after the long winter. If you want to fill your beds with these blushing beauties (photo gallery), here’s what you need to know:
Where to plant:
Camellias favour acid soil, and suffer in alkaline and calcium rich soil. If you do have a more alkaline soil type, then potting these flowering shrubs is a good option. Camellias are also naturally a forest plant, so grow well in shaded areas. If you are growing these in a particularly sun soaked bed, then ensure that you are giving them plenty of water to keep them from drying out.
How to care for:
Due to their ericaceous nature (their need for acid soil) it is always good to keep your bedding or pot topped up with potash or sulphate of ammonia to keep the camellia’s roots happy. Keep fish blood and bone away from your camellias, as the calcium will alter the pH of the soil. When it comes to pruning, leave this until just after flowering, in late Spring. You don’t want to prune in summer and autumn as this is when the camellia’s buds will be forming for the following year, and you could reduce the number of blooms yielded.
From shrub to bedding plant, now comes the turn of the simple daffodil. Or so you might think! Most people think of the classic, egg yolk yellow, trumpet daffodil when you mention this flower, but there are so many other varieties that you can grow easily (see pictures here), and many of which are on display here at our South Wales hotel! So, here’s all you need to know to fill your garden with dazzling daffodils:
How to choose your ideal daff:
Luckily for you, daffodils are pretty easy to grow. They aren’t fussy, so as long as you plant the bulbs with a little all-purpose fertiliser and keep them well watered and you should have a healthy crop come springtime. Your biggest challenge will be choosing which variety of daffodil to grow! Now we won’t bore with the hundreds, if not thousands, individual varieties of this beautiful flower, but we will give you a quick rundown of the 13 different ‘divisions’ of daffodil, so that you can choose one to suit you:
This is the ‘classic’ daffodil, with a long corona (the central cup) that protrudes out further than the petals.
This is a daintier flower, still with a large corona, but that does not extend beyond the length of the petals, this producing a flatter more dish shaped flower.
These have small flat coronae and tend to have a larger, flatter petal.
The double daffodil is a lovely frilly variety with two rows of petals and no clear distinction between petal and cup giving them a rosette like appearance.
The triandrus is sleek and simple in appearance, with a classic elongated corona and single layer of petals. The interest comes in the fact that these daffs bloom with up to 5 flowers to a single stem, which hang like pendants.
These striking daffs look like they’ve been caught in a hurricane, with their petals swept back from the cup!
Jonquilla and Apodanthus
These pretty variants are a lovely fragrant bloom, which have between two and five flowers per stem.
The tazetta is a beautiful, neat variety of daffodil with a profusion of up to 20 flowers to a stem. Some tazetta daffs also carry a lovely fresh scent.
A very pretty alternative to the classic daffodil, the poeticus has large white petals contrasted with a tiny egg yolk corona.
These early bloomers are a short stout variety of daffodil with a wide, open cup that is much larger that its delicate petals.
These more unusual blooms have, unsurprisingly, a split corona which is more petal like than cup like in appearance. The petal structure is more akin to an orchid or iris than a ‘traditional’ daff.
Another split corona, but this time with a much flatter, less ruffled centre. The cup opens out to form what looks like a second row of petals that almost entirely cover the petals themselves.
Not all daffs fit into the above categories, so sadly they are simply labelled as miscellaneous!
Last but not least we have the species daffodils, which covers all of the quirky little wild varieties. Probably less for the garden and more for the field!
As you can see, there is plenty going on just among these two species of flower, but there are plenty more to choose from. To get a glimpse of the Spring favourites for yourself, take a look at Susie’s beautiful photos over in the Gallery, or pay us a visit! Our gardens truly do make us one of the best places to stay in Wales, and are well worth the visit. Book direct for our best rate, or give us a call on 01874 730 371 for more information.
We are still unsure as to when we can re-open. I think it will be around the 24th May.
Gliffaes will not be open for outdoor dining only – I am afraid the numbers don’t stack up for us.
Mark Drakeford, The Welsh First Minister has given no definitive date for the opening of indoor hospitality in Wales.
This matter is further confused by the local elections on the 6th May. If Labour is returned to power he tells us that he will be minded to consider the opening of indoor hospitality on the 17th May and I guess he will give us about a week’s notice taking us to the 24th May.
Online booking is available and reception will be staffed from 9am to midday from Monday to Saturday, so please do call us.
Thank you for all your support and we hope to see you in May and beyond.
James & Susie Suter and all the team at Gliffaes.