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Unfortunately the really heavy rains at the end of March have left the Gardens too wet for visitors. Although we have had glorious sunshine, more rain is forecast for Thursday 6 April. Work on the new path should be finishing soon and will mean improved accessibility for visitors. So we are hopeful the Open Thursday season will be able to start on 13th April.


A gorgeous autumn day

Today the sun shone and it was beautifully warm at the Gardens, so it was a real pleasure to be there, cutting back the geraniums, planting bulbs, raking leaves, adding to the dead hedges and getting the rill flowing. It was lovely to welcome Ruth from the Co-Op, who came to see the restored balustrade in the Italian Garden, for which Co-Op members had contributed funds.


Onward march

Looking for unexploded ordnance and finding plant labels, that is the name of this game – Bill has been making steady progress on it and this week Paul and Peter from Great Easton joined the fray. Our hope is that, once the way has been declared clear, we will be able to start laying the path and gardening! The rest of us were spread thinly across the Gardens, collecting in squashes for the ...


Glorious bugs

At our next Open Day we will celebrate the bugs and other wildlife in the Gardens, with Jono Forgham on hand to lead nature walks and other activities and Essex Bat Group telling all about the bats in the Gardens. Our wildflower banks had snowdrops, then bluebells and are now awash with cowparsley studded with pink campion and with a few orchids now emerging. The weeds are also growing apace, so t ...


Kim’s story

At this Sunday’s Open Day, 23 May, we will be remembering the Countess of Warwick’s love of animals and just in time we have put in place an information board about her baby elephant, Kim. A storyteller will weave tales for children and the children’s trail will also feature the Countess’ animals. We have been working to tidy the Gardens and the stonemasons should manage to ...


The new season’s joy

What a joyous Open Day we had on Sunday – the sun shone all day and the Gardens were looking beautiful, with late daffodils and narcissi and early tulips and tree blossom everywhere. We are now looking forward to the rest of the season and next year too! This is one of the last sections of the balustrade to be repaired and the stonemasons should be back on site this week and have the work fi ...


The joy of working outdoors

Winter work at the Gardens is great when the weather allows for it. Last week it was just too wet. This week was cold, but we got a lot done. Ann, Valerie and Sue tidied the border by the gate, while Peter and Ann tidied around the top of the Italian garden. Sam and Martin found and dug up old estate fencing. Tony, Keith, Clare and Steph put deer proof fencing around newly planted trees. Jane impr ...

lime walk Nov 2020

Beginnings of a new walk on the wildside (of the lime wood)

What a beautiful day it was, working at the Gardens and welcoming a few more late season visitors. We have old maps of the walks in the lime wood. But the trees are way beyond restoring them to pleached hedges, such as you find at Sissinghurst or the Courts Garden; and tower so magnificently that we wouldn’t want to reduce their height. What we can do, though, is put in paths so visitors can ...

daffs 2020

Planting a host of daffodils

Martin, Lyn, Peter and Ann planted hundreds of daffodils and Valerie and Ann planted tulips, as we look forward to 2021. Elsewhere, in the Glade we planted a himalayan birch in memory of Diana Creasey, to join the one planted for Brian. They are a small tribute to them, for their dedication to the Gardens: starting the restoration, opening the Gardens to the public and  establishing our Trust to c ...


Another little stepping stone

Our next big restoration project will be the balustrading around the lilypond. But while we are putting the plans for that into place and fundraising for it, we have funded the laying of a few additional slabs to make it easier to cross from the restored steps to the existing paving. Meanwhile, the focus of the day was on our trees in advance of our next Open Day on 16 August. We had a lesson on f ...


Hot, hot, hot

It was 28 degrees at times on Thursday and it felt it! We had volunteers back working in the Gardens, with a full set of Covid 19 risk mitigation measures in place. So we spread out across the Gardens to start getting back on top of more of the basic maintenance work. The Gardens were looking fantastic. More waterlilies out in the pond, the helianthemums providing masses of colour and the lupins t ...

rhododendron 1 May 2020

A beautiful invasive species!

The Rhododendrons are flowering prolifically in the Japanese garden under development. Our volunteers are progressively cutting them back into shape, so not letting them be the menace they can be when left untended. In large parts of the UK they have taken over where they were planted by Victorians to brighten up their gardens – at the expense of native plant species and wildlife; and their ...