There are eight volunteer gardeners who meet on Tuesday mornings to help out in the garden. Here are some of them, with George, clearing one of the beds:
You may remember that a couple of the beds in the garden have been cleared and sprayed off in an attempt to keep down the hated bindweed. The best of the plants have been preserved and will be ‘cleaned’ and replanted in the spring.
Volunteers have been a special part of the garden since 1995. Marguerite Wright is a founder and key member of the group, she answered our questions.
What’s special about the Walled Garden?
The garden contains an astonishing variety of plants, especially for a public garden. We are very lucky to have such a beautiful resource.
Tell us about the Heritage Lottery Grant refurb
This was a grant to refurbish the garden, it was agreed in 1996 and was the first successful HL bid by the council. The whole refurbishment took about 4 years and the garden was closed for a short while during this time. The garden was emptied and plants put into ‘holding’ in the kitchen garden. Paths were re-laid and things like the sundial replaced. When the infrastructure was finished the volunteers helped replant the garden. Only plant varieties cultivated before 1922 were used in order to respect to the heritage of the garden. It was part of the agreement for the grant that a gardener dedicated to the Walled Garden be appointed – hence George.
What are your hopes for the future of the garden?
That it continues to be maintained to a high standard and the huge variety of plants enjoyed for many generations to come. We want more people to visit and appreciate the garden. Thank you Marguerite. Sadly we have had some vandalism in the garden recently. People have been coming in at night, there has been damage to the beautiful wrought-iron gates which lead into the Manor lawn, benches have been moved and broken, plants damaged or destroyed and the pond affected too. It seems to have stopped now though, maybe because of the weather . . .