Perennial planting in Berkeley Gardens
Due to match funding support from the European Regional Development Fund, Berkeley Gardens has been able to benefit from the council’s Habitat Cheltenham Project, which aims to create a network of biodiversity improvements across Cheltenham's town centre.
The beds in the garden were repeatedly planted over the years with annual planting, which was both labour and maintenance intensive.
All beds received an application of Fine Composted Bark to replenish poor soil conditions in preparation for perennial planting. An organic matter-rich soil conditioner, composted bark improves the soil structure, quality, organic matter levels and water holding capacity.
A variety of perennials and shrubs were planted, carefully selected to give a wide seasonal food-rich resource for pollinators and insects, introducing biodiversity and establishing mini-habitats supporting birds, insects and reptile species. Perennial species planted in July 2022 provide pollen, nectar, seeds and nesting material for birds and butterflies. Naturally, the greatest advantage that perennials have is that they come back year-after-year to enhance one of the most important gardens in Cheltenham.
Within the 16 different species planted there is a selection of helleniums, rudbeickias, geraniums, lavenders and different types of grasses. A tall mix of tulip species were inter-planted this Autumn to provide more visual interest and an early food source for pollinators.
We've used Strulch to mulch the beds as it is a light and easy to use garden mulch made from wheat straw for organic gardening.
Strulch has a neutral pH, reduces weed growth, helps retain moisture around plants, enriches soil and its structure, is suitable around flowers, shrubs, fruit and vegetables and lasts up to two years, spreading the cost, saving water and fertiliser, making the plants grow healthier and stronger. The physical properties of this mulch together with the embedded minerals deters slugs and snails.
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