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Spring is in the air and the Dorothy Clive Garden is coming back to life for another season (13th March 2015)

At the time of writing the following plants were already in flower: hellebores, early daffodils, camellias, new Iris reticulata cvs and masses of crocus. The garden will of course just get stronger every week from here on in, with a rising crescendo of spring flowering trees, shrubs and bulbs putting on an uplifting floral display.

It is worth noting that although the garden was closed as per usual for three months from the end of October 2014 until the start of February this year, a huge amount of work went on during that time. First and foremost, a new Winter Woodland Garden has been created on the site of the old Gravel Garden and Spring Walk area. Covering a total area of approximately half an acre, this new garden has been planted up with over 12,000 new plants spread across 150 different taxa! Obviously prior to the planting phase the whole area had to be marked up, cleared off, re-graded, paths constructed, beds re-defined and the soil cultivated. It was a big task for a small team but with the help of our loyal band of garden volunteers we had completed the lion’s share of the work by Christmas. ‘Topping and tailing’ the project took place during January and the garden team started playing catch up on the routine jobs that had taken a backburner through November and December. They’ve now caught up and the gardens are looking exactly as they should prior to the start of our main season.


Going forward it is worth noting that the garden will be open all the year round from now on. The ‘high’ season will still be from April 1st until September 30th where we will continue to open for 7 days per week. However, we will no longer close for weekends in November, December and January. Instead our ‘low’ season opening will cover every weekend from October through until the end of March with the exception of the two weekends around Christmas and New Year. We do after all like to have some time off too! This adds another 10 weekends to our opening offer or 20 days per year. Obviously, the existing benefits of membership further increase and we now have the added attraction of the only specialist winter garden in the county! Please do support us and take advantage of this new access opportunity.


At the end of last season we said a fond farewell to ‘Reg’ Ledgar, Jane Cameron and Chris Woch all of whom worked as gate stewards. Alan Farrar has now taken on responsibility for leading our gate team and we are just in the process of recruiting two new members of staff for this crucial role. Therefore when you come back during our main season don’t be surprised to see a couple of new faces welcoming you on arrival.


Last but not least we’ve put together a new set of exciting events for 2015 please do check out our new website for details. First up of course is the ever popular Plant Hunters’ Fair on Easter weekend. There is definitely a nice buzz of energy around the place at the moment as we get ready to welcome back our seasonal staff to work and of course our members and general visitors too.


We are all looking forward to seeing you again in 2015.