Country and Garden: Cuttings

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The Independent Culture
WITH A generous grant of pounds 7,500 from the National Gardens Scheme, the National Trust has been able to reinstate a Victorian pond in the garden at Peckover House, Wisbech, Cambridgeshire. It was taken away just before the property came to the Trust, but an old photograph showing Miss Alexandrina Peckover and friends, posed round the pond, gave all the clues that were needed for an accurate replica to be put in place.

The York stone edging and gravel surround are settling in well and this autumn, the Trust plans to reinstate old-fashioned box edging round the beds. They will be filled with roses as they were in the 19th century. The enchanting town garden at Peckover House is open until the end of October daily (except Fri) from 12.30pm to 5.30pm. If you want to see the house too, go on Wed, Sat or Sun. Admission pounds 3.50 for house and garden, pounds 2 garden only

A SURVEY carried out by the Central Science Laboratory has found that traditional cider orchards have more than twice as many birds, of a wider range of species, as modern orchards. Pesticides are only partly to blame, the laboratory's researchers found. More significant is the difference in management between old orchards and new.

Traditional farm orchards are generally small, but contain big trees, widely spaced, with grass growing underneath them. The grass is often grazed by sheep. Modern commercial orchards are much bigger, but they are usually planted with much smaller trees, on dwarfing rootstock. The trees are set close together and they stand in strips of earth that have usually been treated with herbicide to reduce competition from weeds (dwarfing rootstocks are fussier than non-dwarfing ones). Grass between trees is now generally mown, rather than grazed.

A GREENHOUSE should be doing something useful every month of the year. If you find that thought daunting, sign up for Simon Vyle's three-day course, Making the Most of Your Greenhouse, which runs from 27 to 29 August. It takes place in the immaculate garden at West Dean College, near Chichester, where you will see greenhouses working just about as hard as any house can. Weekend courses cost pounds 162 for residents, pounds 105 for non-residents. For details, contact West Dean College, West Dean, Chichester PO18 0QZ (01243 811301), or visit the website at http//www.westdean.org.uk/

Anna Pavord

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