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The History of Blackbrook Garden


When we moved to Blackbrook in December 1994, we discovered what had been, undoubtedly at some time, a beautiful Walled Garden. Sadly it was in a terrible state, having been used for livestock for many years. The two wonderful Victorian-era greenhouses were all utterly derelict. Before we moved in, I had begun to plan the garden and visited numerous gardens for ideas. The pergola was inspired by the one at Great Dixter and the hexagonal pond, from Kiftsgate.

In Spring 1995 we slowly started work. This involved removing the old wood from the bottom greenhouse whilst leaving the metal girders and planning where the paths would go. In March, because the whole garden is on a slope, we started to put the steps in and in April the arch was put in for the Crab Apple trees, which were duly planted shortly afterwards.

It wasn’t until January 1996 that we started work on the garden's walls and in March/April 1996 we started to plant the Yew hedges, trees, the box hedges and Rose Parterre, as well as some of the flowerbeds.

While this was all going on, the bottom greenhouse was being rebuilt. We kept as much of the original as possible, which is divided into three parts: the Heated end where we do the propagation and keep tender plants, the Middle section which is frost free and the End section which has no heating at all.

In June 1995, we levelled off the area by the top greenhouse and started work on the walls. The paving was not put down until March 1997. The top greenhouse, were we originally put a swimming pool, was started in May 1997, the Herb Garden had been laid out, the Box balls planted and the inside of the bottom greenhouse was finished.

The Garden is an on going work in progress, outside the walled garden we have moved walls, planted many trees and have a Spring garden above the house.

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