Monday, 21 December 2015

Looking ahead: Easton Walled Gardens and Little Ponton Hall

There’s nothing more cheerful than having a garden visit to look forward to- especially when there’s cake involved.
Photo by Fred Cholmeley

Our next trip out will be to two of my favourites - Little Ponton Hall, and Easton Walled Gardens.

Both are stunning in winter, with drifts of naturalised snowdrops and carpets of golden aconites.
Little Ponton Hall (photo by Gillian Rudd)

The gardens are virtually next door to each other, just off the A1 near Grantham in Lincolnshire.  

The River Witham winds its way through both gardens. For me, it’s an annual treat to walk along the footpaths and look up at the sheets of snowdrops all along the steep- sloping banks.

Little Ponton Hall is the 18th century home of Mrs. Rosemary McCorquodale. A favourite feature of the garden is a 200 year old cedar tree alongside the house on the main lawn.   In the walled vegetable garden there’s a glorious Victorian greenhouse full of exotic plants, and a listed dovecote. The most recent project is the development of a herb garden.

Easton Walled Gardens have been rescued from ruin over the past 15 years by Lady Ursula Cholmeley and her family. 
 Photo by Fred Cholmeley

There are some new plantings I’m looking forward to. Crocuses have been planted in groups of 100 in the grass- including C. Romance, Remembrance and white Joan of Arc and snow bunting.

I am hoping we will see early flowering narcissi, chionodoxa, hyacinths and hellebores as well as some of the winter flowering prunus trees.   And there are some rare and unusual forms of snowdrops in the alpine bed, including Wendy’s Gold, Mighty Atom, Fred’s Giant. In the Secret Garden there’s Galanthus Lady Elphinstone and some of the Greatorex doubles including G Jacquenetta.
   
And a favourite place for me- after all that walking- is the cosy little cafe, selling tea and homemade cake.  I can highly recommend the coffee and walnut!
Photo by Fred Cholmeley

For more details- see the website   www.lrgt.org

Saturday 13th February: Coach Trip to Easton Walled Gardens and Little Ponton Hall, with lunch at The Cholmeley Arms. 

writer:  Karen Gimson