A huge thank you to Dale, Head Gardener at Dyrham Park, for a brilliant insight into their ’21st century garden with echoes of the past’. Amazing pictures of how the gardens have changed since the 1700s (from Dutch influenced formal, through the picturesque wilderness years, the Victorian variety of plants filling the spaces to the leaving of the garden to grass and decline when the building was to be sold for demolition in the 1950s) and how the gardening team have taken the challenge of moving from the neglected area they took on to creating a garden for garden lovers with all year round interest.
The plan was first put forward in 1997 but it took until 2005 before all those involved from local to national levels came to an agreement and work started. When the property was taken over by the National Trust in 1961, there was a focus on the house and its contents so there was no money for the garden. Thankfully, that’s changed! The garden now attracts nearly a quarter of a million visitors every year. It’s a work in progress, though, so make sure you visit regularly as much of the planting is temporary as the plan evolves. The end will give a ‘window on to William Blathwayt’s world’ with the formal garden restored to what was originally the front entrance to the house, the terraces offering great view points over the park and an acknowledgement that the land (all 285 acres of it) is an important habitat for wildlife, including the essential deer first recorded as living there in 577.
And a huge well done to all the winners for the WI garden fund raffle – enjoy those prizes!
And thank you to everyone who donated bras and knickers to our Smalls for All fundraiser – a very impressive washing line indeed! All donations will make a huge difference to the lives of girls and women around the world.