‘Get knotted!’ at Trerice’s new Tudor garden

Trerice Knot garden

Trerice Knot garden

Eight hundred young yew trees have been planted to map out the intricate design of a new Ladies’ Garden at Trerice near Newquay in Cornwall which opens today, Thursday 24 July.

This gem of a knot garden is set to bring to life this romantic Elizabethan manor house [1] which has been a labour of love for the gardening team and 13 volunteers.

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Trelissick House opens up one of Cornwall’s finest vistas

Alice Watts & Tammy Stafford pulling back the curtains to reveal beautiful view of the estuary below Trelissick House

Alice Watts & Tammy Stafford pulling back the curtains to reveal beautiful view of the estuary below Trelissick House

For the first time this summer Trelissick House is opening its doors to visitors five days a week. Sitting on its own peninsula and looking straight down the Fal estuary, from 2 July this offers one of the grandest views in Cornwall.

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Duke of Wellington’s tree at Kingston Lacy

The National Trust owns more old and significant trees than any other organisation in the UK including some of international importance such as the Tolpuddle Martyr’s tree or Newton’s apple tree and takes the responsibility of looking after these very seriously. The Trust spends significant resources every year surveying these trees and carrying out work to enhance their useful lives and many staff and external arboricultural consultants and contractors are involved with this.  However for various reasons and no matter how important they are, it is not possible to keep all trees indefinitely but the need to make difficult decisions like the one to remove the Duke of  Wellington’s cedar at Kingston Lacy are fortunately very rare. 

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Historic Glasshouses restored at Kingston Lacy

Some of the historic glasshouses in the Kitchen Garden at Kingston Lacy are being restored thanks to a grant of £38,345 from Local Action Group Sowing Seeds.

Work being carried out on the Orchid House (c) National Trust

Work being carried out on the Orchid House (c) National Trust

The buildings had fallen into disrepair with rotten frames and broken glass meaning that part of the Kitchen Garden could not be opened to the public.

But now the National Trust at Kingston Lacy has started work to restore some of the glasshouses and bring them back into use.

The glasshouses are adjacent to the 118 Growing Spaces community allotment plots which has allocated spaces for local families and individuals, as well as community groups and schools.

The award of the grant has enabled two of the glasshouses – one of them a ‘sunken’ glass house – to be restored along with the small boiler house and cold frames, creating a new public area in the Kitchen Garden.

The users of the community growing spaces will use the glasshouses to cultivate seedlings and grow crops previously unavailable to them.

Andrew Hunt, the National Trust’s Head Gardener at Kingston Lacy said: “The grant is good news in allowing us to restore the glasshouses and we will also be able to use them to support the growing spaces and for part of our garden training and formal education programmes.

“We want to make a difference, help our users learn more gardening techniques from seed propagation through to fruit and vegetable cultivation and stock.”

Work has already started on the buildings including an attempt to save a 100 year old Wisteria growing on the Orchid House. The plant has been pruned back and supported on a specially made frame.

“Saving the Wisteria is quite a challenge but we will try to keep it. We will also take similar care to keep as many features of the original buildings as we can – and restore others, such as replacing modern concrete tiles with recycled Victorian clay tiles,” added Andrew.

In the sunken glasshouse, overgrown ivy has been removed and the walls are being dismantled brick by brick so they can be rebuilt. Door frames have also been carefully dismantled so the new timbers can be made to match the originals closely.

The local community groups who use the kitchen garden are helping with some of the work, clearing the old ivy and will be helping to paint once the building work is complete.

“We are following the development of the Kitchen Garden in the Victorian era with this restoration. It would have started as a modest vegetable plot and then developed and grown with the addition of the glasshouses allowing the cultivation of rare plants and for plants to be grown throughout the year. Thanks to the grant allowing this work, our residents of the growing spaces plots will be able to grow a greater range of produce and for longer periods of time replicating that of a Victorian gardener when glasshouses were first introduced.”

Surplus from the plots is sold through the Kingston Lacy Kitchen Garden’s vegetable shop for the benefit of the individual plot owners. Already more than half of the visitors to Kingston Lacy visit the Kitchen Garden and Growing Spaces plots

Join in and help restore the glasshouses. There are open have a go sessions were visitors can join the National Trust building team to help reinstate the pointing on one of the glasshouses. 30 August and 6 September between 2pm and 4pm. No booking required.

More information is available on www.nationaltrust.org.uk/kingstonlacy

Newark Park Garden now fully open

The Glade – the bulb-filled woodland walk through the gardens at Newark Park near Wotton-under-Edge has been re-opened following repairs and footpath improvements. 

(c) National Trust / Roger May

The Garden at Newark Park

Wet, windy weather and essential tree maintenance work led to the mid-level of the garden, known as ‘The Glade’, being closed by the National Trust as the ground was too damaged for visitors to walk on.

The re-opening has coincided with the daffodils flowering throughout the garden at Newark, and the wild garlic just starting to push through.

Jenny Rogers, the National Trust’s House and Visitor Experience Manager said that waiting for the rain to stop so works could begin to rectify the damage was a thankless task.

“We were interrupted with snow and flooding but with the recent cold snap we have been able to level out the ground and lay a sturdier surface through the glade to allow full access once again. There are still a few snowdrops around, the daffodils are about to open and soon we will see Wild Garlic springing up and filling the space with their abundant white flowers and distinctive scent.”

With walks around the terraced woodland garden taking in the romance of follies, springs, and our lakeside summerhouse, Newark is regarded by many as perfect for relaxing and taking in the breath-taking views of the surrounding Gloucestershire countryside.

A little further afield there are also three way-marked estate walks which lead down the valley overlooked by the house. Perfect for springtime the Green route takes you past a burbling brook and you may even see new lambs if you’re lucky. Leaflets with the walks in are available from NewarkPark.

NewarkPark opens 11am-5pm last entry 4.30pm, Wed – Sun and Bank Holidays. Find out more by visiting our website at www.nationaltrust.org.uk/newarkpark

Historic place to rest returns to Tyntesfield

A unique oak bench has been recreated for the 19th century Lady Wraxall’s Garden at Tyntesfield thanks to a rare surviving archive photograph from the 1900’s, some local craftsmanship and much needed funding from a generous donor.

Lady Wraxall’s Garden was modelled in an Italianete style, a departure from the rest of the gothic architectural style, and offered a secluded and sheltered area where family and guest paused after walking the formal gardens.

‘The vision to recreate the bench and restore this place of rest in Lady Wraxall’s Garden has been with us ever since the Trust saved Tyntesfield for the nation in 2002. However it was only until this year, thanks to the very generous funding from one of our supporters we were are able commission a local Bristol based company Brittanic Teak to recreate this magnificent bench’ explains Paul Evans, National Trust Head Gardener at Tyntesfield.

Lady Wraxall’s garden and the new bench can be enjoyed along with the formal and kitchen gardens throughout the year. Normal admission charges apply.

More information is available on www.nationaltrust.org.uk/tyntesfield.


A birthday cedar for Kingston Lacy

Nigel Chalk and David Roberts (c) National Trust/ Michael Harry

To celebrate thirty years of the National Trust caring for Kingston Lacy a new cedar tree has been planted on the Cedar Walk in honour of the Bankes family and its generous gift to the nation.

 The Bankes’ Estate was given to the National Trust on 19 August 1982 and at 16,500 acres was the largest bequest it had ever accepted. In addition to the Kingston Lacy Estate it included land at Purbeck as well as Studland beach and Corfe Castle.

 On 20 August 1977 Ralph Bankes Esq. accepted a school leaver to work on his 8,500 acre Kingston Lacy estate team. Thirty five years on that school leaver, Nigel Chalk, is now the Gardens and Countryside Manager of Kingston Lacy Estate. He planted the new celebratory cedar to celebrate both the National Trust’s and his achievements in the twenty five square miles of  Dorset which forms a major part of the Bankes’ bequest.

David Roberts, General Manager at Kingston Lacy said: ‘From his first days of being thrown into the Home Farm slurry pit, Nigel’s been an integral part of the bequest and the Trust’s management of its largest working lowland estate. From carrying the Squire’s milk in a can from the farm to the Big House to running two departments, sixteen staff and over a hundred and forty volunteers, Nigel’s been a vital part of the property he came with.

 ‘It seems right to us that both “birthdays” should be celebrated at the same time – 12 noon on Sunday 19 August  – on the Walk that Nigel’s not only looked after on our behalf for the last thirty five years but that the Bankes’ always reserved for family, friends and royalty. Nigel qualifies to plant the cedar in two of those categories.’

 The 30th anniversary is also being celebrated at Purbeck where Studland residents can enjoy free use of the Old Coastguard hut at Middle Beach until October while residents of the parish of Corfe Castle are invited to a Medieval Village re-enactment on 18 August.