NGS Summer Openings 2022
In this edition we hear from Lady Guernsey of Packington Hall, Meriden, Nr Coventry, CV7 7HF, which is open on Sunday 12th June from 2pm - 5pm. Admission £6, children free. Homemade teas, dogs on leads welcome. www.packingtonestate.co.uk.
Strolling through the tree-rich Capability Brown landscape of her Packington Hall home, garden designer Lady Georgie Guernsey readily admits to having been no great fan of rhododendron…until the lockdown of 2020.
“That’s when I started really loving being in this garden and appreciating it. Now, I’d like to maybe cut little pathways through the rhododendron while the kids are small enough to run through them,” says the mother of three, “and actually, I’d enjoy that!”
Designed in 1751, and now tended by 5 gardeners rather than the 19-strong team of the 1800s, Packington boasts a vast serpentine lake, towering Cedar of Lebanon, Wellingtonia, sweeping vistas and a newly constructed ha-ha. Also, a wildflower meadow, rose garden, woodland walks and mixed terrace borders. The grounds are home to numerous hare, muntjac, a polecat and a pair of mating swans that return annually.
The major new attraction for NGS visitors on 12th June will be Lady Guernsey’s bold restoration of the Walled Garden which inspires her with visible excitement as she enters through its espalier-fronted wall. “I think this was very much a productive, not an ornamental, garden and now we have the palatial fruit cage made by a family firm of Staffordshire carpenters from estate oak. There are cutting flowerbeds, a central orchard with wildflowers and a large water feature planned. I’ve just put in an asparagus bed and eventually we’ll have herbaceous borders and fruit trees around all the walls, with benches in shady corners.”
The nursing care charities supported by the National Garden Scheme are much valued by Lord and Lady Guernsey and these will once again benefit from Packington’s single public open day on 12th June. Otherwise, Packington remains very much a private family home.
“Just for the moment, it's exclusive days for the NGS,” explains Lady Guernsey. “It was lovely, when you were shut up in your own home, to get glimpses of other people’s gardens, especially in that first lockdown with that incredible weather, and nosy me who loves to see other people’s gardens, got all these glimpses through the online events!”
Warwickshire NGS Openings in June 2022
Thursday 2nd/Friday 3rd/every Saturday/Sunday
Priors Marston Manor
Whichford & Ascott
Long Itchington Village
6 Canon Price Road
Old Arley Gardens
Warwickshire NGS Openings in July 2022
6 Canon Price Road
Avon Dassett Gardens
3 Cleeve View
11 Priors Crescent
Anya Court Care Home
Please visit www.ngs.org.uk for full details, thank you.
© NGS / Lily Farrah / Warwickshire NGS
Photography credit: Broadacre Bee orchid: C. Woolman