Not named so because there are any swings and roundabouts here, but, as I explained to some confused visitors, it is because of some flag stones within the pathway containing the engravings of the children of the Duke and Duchess. Essentially, these are the gardens for the Duke and Duchess to enjoy, and they happen to open to the public as a source of income for the estate. The Woburn Estates Garden Manager, Martin Towsey, has weekly meetings with these members of nobility to ensure the gardens are being created to their liking and maintained as such.
I learnt some valuable practical horticulture experience in the Childrens’ Garden. When I first began here, one of our tasks was pulling out the spring bedding bulbs – hyacinths and tulips. These will be stored to be planted out the following year. We then planted more summer bedding – zinnea (top right) with Asarina to climb the central teepee, and a horse shoe bed solely consisting of Salvia ‘Mystic Spires Blue’ (top left).
Other tasks included tying clematis to the metal trellis, raking the pebbled pathways of debris, and of course weeding and clearing of any fallen leaves from overhanging trees.
Much of this work has been new to me but I adapted quickly, enthusiastically getting stuck in to whatever the next task was.
There was generally a steady trickle of customers throughout the day and my current and previous experience in retail and catering allows me to feel approachable and comfortable talking to the general public. My knowledge of the estate was still limited and so is my botanical knowledge, but the latter is certainly an ongoing work in progress that greatly improves whilst working with plants on a daily basis.
This work has all been a valuable physical experience and should prove useful in my future aspirations.
Linked in: Linkedin.ColinHickman