Monday 18 June 2018

Churchyard exit postponed

Bolton Percy church framed by lovely lime trees
Village volunteers have transformed Bolton Percy cemetery. 
Only yesterday Brenda’s lovely hairdresser, Ros, reported that out of the blue two York friends had told her that it was their favourite garden and they made frequent visits.
It really looks lovely, is always open and if you live locally you really should go.
I was beginning to think myself an embarrassment and now was the time to quietly step back from my duties. Team leader Jackie Giles was horrified and refused to accept my resignation and persuaded me to continue with a reduced input of four working visits per year to spray and advise.

They were in a panic but in my day it was sometimes worse
Eight weeks later I received an urgent e-mail. The bottom of the cemetery had got out of hand.
My gardening  philosophy is built round the principles that after first eliminating perennial weeds you give frequent attention to weeds from seed and use dense planting to keep the soil weed free.

Of necessity my method of weed control when I left the village eighteen years ago was to be monthly glyphosate spraying. Not nearly enough but my modified approach of generous clumps of dense planting, surrounded by gaps and trails of more open spaces worked very well. Sometimes if I lapsed after five weeks or so, weeds from seed became rather intrusive and unfortunately when sprayed looked rather scruffy.
Imagine how overgrown it gets after two months. Traditional weed control then becomes a nightmare. I am told the team spent two solid days preparing for my recall!

Their concentration had been at the top of the acre churchyard 
They should not have worried. It took only forty five minutes of knapsack spraying to spray all the weeds in this section of the graveyard. Readers might be interested in my methods in detail and why they are speedy. It had been my intention to write short notes about glyphosate spraying at the end of this post but have now decided it more appropriate to post a dedicated article tomorrow.  

Midsummer scenes in Bolton Percy cemetery

Rosa glauca provides foliage, colour, flowers and later lovely red berries

Turn round the corner and find this lovely ground cover 
Here Rosa glauca produces lovely strong foliage when pruned to the ground
This corner until last year was under the heavy shade and drought created by a thirty five year old Leyland cypress which for my sins I had planted myself.
The stump of the tree has been carved with a chainsaw into a cross. Jacky's new planting looks really lovely

You can see the carved cross here
Choisya ternata 'Sundance' is one of my favourite structural plants which offers evergreen scented yellow foliage and stunningly scented white orange-blossom flowers in July. 
Rosa 'Nevada' held back by shade for years has had a new lease of life.

Dense planting prevents weeds  coming from seed
Tony's rose has followed me wherever I have gardened
Former colleague A.J.Thompson once gave  me a cutting of this beautiful scented rose. I do not know its name.

Roses have done particularly well after the wet Winter and recent sunny weather
Hosta remarkably free of snail damage
Visitors always remarked on the slug free hostas. I would explain they preferred the organic debris

Two years ago I worried that this marestail would take over the churchyard after I had gone. I killed it with a single spray. Find out how in the link at the end

Site of the marestail replanted last Winter
Now mulched with chippings from the felled cypress tree there has been no sign of new equisetum since it was sprayed

The cemetery team have been endlessly innovative and here they have used cut sections of the recently felled sycamore
The team have a plan for the old church bell widget
A kind benefactor has donated a small sum to remove the wooden edging. The neighbour's new fence where another Leyland cypress was removed will be softened by current planting

Geranium magnifica lives up to its name
Such early geraniums rapidly make nice ground covering mounds when strimmed after flowering

The cemetery is in good hands when I completely retire
Although the equisetum was not the regular thug I think my method would kill that too. Numerous references to Bolton Percy cemetery garden are to be found in the theme column. Also to the Worsbrough cemetery from which now I have really retired.
Articles about glyphosate are littered all over

Tomorrow's post is up and running


  1. What a beautiful churchyard garden, you really made the most of it. Anyway, the English cemeteries are always much nicer than ours. In our country cemeteries are deadly tidy...... I love the way they do in England with sometimes even sheep grazing at the churchyard.

    1. Even so you beat us to it putting flowering plants (rather than cut flowers) into cemeteries. We really do have some lovely cemeteries in the UK, especially now we have realised their wild life virtues.
      Sheep are fine as long as their no trees - they strip the bark of other than old specimens

  2. This is beautiful, absolutely beautiful. Congratulations to you and the team for creating this. And I love the chainsawed cross too.

  3. It looks lovely. We still haven’t managed to pay a visit.

    1. Date for your diary, Sue. September 2nd. My Seaton Ross garden Open day (For Yorkshire arboretum) and helf hour journey to Bolton Percy either before or after on the way to your home in Wakefield

  4. Stunning. Having seen that hosta, I'm reconsidering my atheism.

    1. Atheist's ashes are accepted and indeed removal of the large sycamore has made room fora few more graves!
      My own attitudes strengthen as I age.


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