Things have continued to progress well down on the new farm, not least the developments taking place in the gardens.
The landscaping of the site continues with a very strong commitment to sustainability, including using coppiced wood from the site for the timber requirements and stone quarried from the site for dry stone walls.
Within the designs of the hexagonal central gardens, our Head Gardener Pip Howard has carried out a substantial amount of dry stonewalling. Pip says, ‘This walling has been designed to mimic the different styles of dry stone work found in the area. It also provides additional habitat to fauna, particularly bees of course.’
Pip has finished constructing a nursery onsite and has managed to carry out a large amount of propagation in time for the onslaught of winter, with all the plants being bee friendly. He says, ‘I’ve worked, not just with UK research, but also from abroad and strong anecdotal evidence has allowed for what will certainly be the largest array of vegetation specifically grown for bees in the UK.’
The brief Pip was given at the start, to only use bee friendly plants, means that the new Quince Honey Farm gardens will have an exciting place in the natural world. It will become the first known woodland in the UK planted specifically for bees. This ensures the site would become of considerable importance for research purposes, and perhaps provide inspiration to others hoping to achieve the same goals.
Meanwhile, Pip is still busy working through his designs for the gardens and taking inspiration from his nature loving colleagues. He says, ‘The construction of a variety of unique landscape features is being carried out, which are key to the general designs. Much of the designs are fluid and allow for input from other staff, with some great ideas being incorporated.’ He continues, ‘A blend of traditional and innovative techniques has allowed for some very original features, designed to appeal to all generations.’
The gardens are certainly going to form an important part of the new Quince Honey Farm and will be an attraction in themselves, with nature walks, tractor rides and tours. They will offer up different delights each season and provide a stunning place to relax and enjoy the beauty of nature all year round. Make sure you visit when we open in April 2019.