Planned and laid out by renowned landscape gardener Thomas Mawson, our gardens retain many original features. Today, under the guidance and support of internationally recognised garden designer Annie Guilfoyle, and her team, Head Gardener Claire Farrington is bringing our gardens back to their former glory as part of an ambitious multi year project. Join Claire on a garden tour to discover what is next for our magnificent gardens.
Tours can be booked from our hotel reception, we just ask that you give Claire 24 hours notice before taking you on a tour. Please note garden tours are only available to staying hotel guests.
We caught up with Claire to find out more about her passion for gardening.
A passion for the outdoors.
What inspired you to get into gardening?
I have a lot of happy childhood memories walking around a particular family member’s garden, cutting flowers for their household displays and helping them forage for homegrown produce. When I bought my own home, I got the same great pleasure from the garden; I could experiment with plants and watch them develop. In that period, I was working as a Science teacher, and I would spend any free time I could out in the garden as a means of escape from the stresses of the job. I fell in love with the variety and beauty of the plant kingdom, plants are fascinating to me and there is so much to learn about. Nurturing plants and seeing them flourish I find an incredibly rewarding and satisfying process.
Is nature a big part of gardening for you?
Absolutely. Spending time outdoors and connecting with nature feels good and the way that you garden can have a big influence on the environment around you. There are many easy ways to benefit wildlife in garden practises; planting native species, having areas that are less regularly maintained in which wildlife can thrive, careful choice of products, using local suppliers, recycling materials. Ideally we’d love to be self-sufficient in terms of our composting and mulching as a fully-fledged garden. We’ve already started to create leaf mulch for use from next autumn and we’re also thinking about using the Thwaites horse manure for our hungry roses.