I was lured back to Kilver Court this week with the promise of brunch and flamingo-themed fun. This garden is often called 'Somerset's Secret Garden', so it's apt we start with this tempting entrance and a distant glimpse of an unusual object.
An unexpected - and fun - surprise I found in the topiary garden were these storybook sculptures by Robert James Limited. They're on display from now until April 6th, prior to their transfer up north to the Harrogate Spring Flower Show.
So what about the flamingos, I hear you ask...
|From left to right we have: |
Boatman, Monty Saul, Viscount Weymouth, Roger Saul, and Viscountess Weymouth
... well, here they are with the garden owners and invited dignitaries welcoming them officially to the garden. Guess which song was playing when I arrived.
As you can see, the flamingos were busy on their island getting used to their surroundings - apparently Kilver Court has had them before, around 50 years ago. There was the potential for things to go very wrong with this opening, so the boatman is to be commended for keeping everyone safe.
As well as the flamingos, garden owner Roger Saul had another pet project for us to view...
... which Sorrel from Gardens Illustrated captured nicely in her tweet. There's also a Wiggly Shed stuffed with gardening tools and other goodies, including Franchi seeds. It was good to see Paolo there and looking well after his recent spell in hospital. He told me to look out for the 'pasta Nonnas' at this year's RHS Hampton Court Show.
I also met Matt from the garden team, who told me about future plans for the garden. Storm Frank left quite a lot of damage in its wake last December, so the opportunity is being taken to rethink the planting.
It's likely that the rockery will be revamped, as will the huge 10 foot by 60 foot herbaceous border at the back of the arches. There may be a competition launched to redesign this space, so I'll say more if and when this happens.
I'm looking forward to seeing how the garden develops over the next year or two, and if any ideas can be applied to the area around Chippenham's own viaduct.
The nursery opens and the garden reopens to the public this Easter weekend (2016) - note there is FREE entry for visitors on Saturday. Full information re opening times and directions can be found here.