Whilst January is a quieter month, there is still plenty to report from the Hop Garden.
Bonfires have been lit to burn off all the vegetation that was cut back when the hops were dressed at the end of last year. It’s a good way to make sure that no infection is carried over to this year’s new growth as well as to keep warm!
Matthew is always happy to have help with keeping the vegetation down in the Hop Garden, but he wasn’t expecting these fleecy friends! These natural lawnmowers can tackle the toughest of weeds and help keep them under control. In days of yore, sheep were often used in this way. In return for some free food, they provide a natural way to fertilise the field!
The cold snap has sent temperatures tumbling as low as -7°. The root ball of the hops is fully protected below the ground and is well and truly dormant in these sub-zero nights.
The blue skies have been beautiful, with frost glistening on the poles and vegetation. We’ve seen some spectacular skies and sunsets.
The deer seem to have multiplied and are openly grazing the fields.
Colin disturbed one family group and managed to catch this action shot, of which he is justifiably proud!
A young vixen has been spotted in the Sunken Garden, trying to catch a tasty snack, and the thriving bird population played its usual trick and kept out of camera reach for the duration of the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch!
With Matthew busy planning for the year ahead from the warmth of the Hangar, there's a lot to look forward to.