November/December 2022 update


November/December 2022 update



Arlington Bluebell Walk

Finally on the last day of this month I managed to get agreement from our charities, that ensured we had cover for all the days on this year’s chart, which is 6 days shorter than 2021 & 2022.

You can find the complete schedule on the website at which again includes Wednesday 26 April as our NHS Day when NHS employees and their families have free entry.

I made so much extra work for myself, by changing the dates we would open after the first list went out and was nearly filled! On reflection I was suddenly concerned that by opening a week earlier due to the Easter dates, we could have a nightmare scenario if the field we use for car parking was too wet. The Easter Holiday does result in many visitors, as one Good Friday brought over 3,000 visitors and we had to use the overflow carpark! Over the four-day Holiday, it would be impossible to buy in extra chippings, hire dumper trucks for distribution and pull out any cars stuck in mud! I have now given up the idea of trying to cover an early Easter. In 2024 the Easter Holiday starts in March!


Beatons Wood

new benches around the walkWe purchased 3 new benches, bringing the total up to 20 throughout the Wood and Millennium Avenue. Most years we borrow extra benches from Arlington Village Hall for the duration of the Walk, but time changes, as Beatons Wood is now open every Wednesday outside the Bluebell Walk period, for those Open Garden visitors who wish to walk round from late February to late October. We are now independent and now don’t have to rely on the goodwill of the Hall Committee!

This image of another full trailer load of young brambles, which seem to appear each year, but must be cleared so they do not compromise the view of the bluebells, as they are fast growers! The wet soil does mean when on my hands and knees trying to cut each one below the growing point, that I can pull them up with some of their roots, hopefully means less work next year!

Brambles in trailer


John McCutchan 




Bates Green Garden

Finally, we are experiencing some colder weather which is most appropriate in December. As gardeners, we are lucky to be able to keep warm by spreading compost around the beds and borders. This mulch serves many purposes. It adds organic matter to the soil which improves its structure especially during the challenging months of drought and then nonstop rain. This dark material warms up quickly in the spring enabling the plants to get a head start and it covers a multitude of sins so beautifully making us all smile.



We are delighted to welcome Alex, our new WRAGS student, to the Bates Green Garden Team. Alex has definitely got the right idea about making friends and influencing people as she has brought in brownies and shortbread so far! We all welcome Alex and hope that she has a great year here in the Garden. Here she is having an arum lesson with Harriet under the Stachyurus praecox which is displaying its fine autumn hues. Harriet is now a fully-fledged gardener after completing her WRAGS training with us and we would all like to thank Harriet very much for the contribution she has made, both to the garden and to the team. 

Gardening lesson


Tulips are a favourite here for their texture and splashes of colour. They are planted on a bed of grit to prevent rotting over the winter months.

Tulip planting in a bed   Tulip planting in a pot


Sending seasonal good wishes to you all-remember that gardening is an excellent winter blues buster!


Emma Reece - Head Gardener



Arlington Bluebell Walk and Farm Trails -

Bates Green Garden -






This message was added on Thursday 15th December 2022

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