It has been a 17-year labour of love, but Ursula Cholmeley’s restoration work on Lincolnshire’s ‘lost’ gardens is finally paying dividends.
Set in rolling countryside between Stamford and Grantham the ancient and once derelict 12-acre Easton Walled Gardens is now one of the UK’s leading horticultural attractions.
Its quintessentially English artisan vibe makes it a popular destination for group travel organisers all year round.
Owned and managed by the Cholmeley family since 1561 Easton is a contemporary estate run on traditional lines.
The gardens include meadows, roses, sweet peas, spring bulbs and shrubs, cutflower and vegetables and were highly commended in the ‘Hidden Gem’ category of the Hudsons Heritage Awards 2017.
Easton’s potential was spotted by the future US President Franklin D Roosevelt who once described it as "a dream of nirvana…almost too good to be true".
Owner Ursula says: “In 2001, when most of the area was swamped by sycamores, elder, brambles and ragwort, its extraordinary setting was one of the key reasons for clearing the site.
“Work began that year and since then we have been working to re-establish the gardens. This is an ongoing process and some of our planting will take many years to reach maturity. For many of our visitors this slow revival is part of the beauty of their visit.”
Sunday, 18th November sees the return of the Artisan Food Fair, which will include the finest liqueurs, puddings, pies, chocolate, meat, wines, preserves, cheese, fudge and cakes.
With fading autumn colours giving way to winter hues, the gardens are being prepared for the 2019 season so it is a chance to see them from a completely different perspective.
Groups are offered a meet and greet visit during normal hours as well as the option to book a tour of the gardens. Those with a special interest can opt for a 20-minute introduction at the gardens when they’ll be met by a tour guide and are given a short talk about the history of the gardens.
For group bookings of 15 plus, GTOs can contact Angela Marshall on 01476 530 063 or email firstname.lastname@example.org