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Andrew Martin

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January 2021

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  • John McBurney

Beautiful Gardens of Bedfordshire (Part 2)

Discovering beautiful gardens in the local area.

For our second instalment, we were kindly invited to visit the amazingly colourful garden of Clare & Ray Kilby who live on Brook Street in Stotfold.

We were treated to a guided tour of their beautiful garden whilst Ray explained all

“Clare has lived in this house for over 50 years and I have lived here for over 40 years. My father was a keen gardener and after my marriage he encouraged me to take an interest in gardening. However, long after his death the challenge appears each year to create a colourful country cottage garden.

I have many interests and so the garden has to fit into a time for each phase. I take about 80 fuchsia cuttings in September / October and pot them on early in the New Year. Daffodil bulbs go in after the garden is cleared at the beginning of October.

8 weeks before the end of May I buy geranium plug plants and pot them up to mature prior to setting out. Marigolds are grown from seed. Other plants – ageratum, petunias, salvias and lobelia – I buy from Langford Garden Centre as seedlings and set them out in trays of 30. I do this six weeks prior to setting them out on or around June 3rd. My father always said don’t set them out until after your birthday to avoid frost.

All the gardens accessories like old ploughs, old lawn mowers, streetlamps, mangle etc are restored finds from the past. A rear centre garden display is a wheelbarrow that my father made about 60 years ago. He filled it up with sand and found that he couldn’t lift it. He never used it again!

The house is elevated from the road, which gives me the opportunity to tier and slope the plants, giving a more colourful display for passers-by. Window boxes and baskets add to this effect. I spend a few hours in the summer months watering and it is nice to receive comments of approval, although very few ask for advice!”




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