As much as I enjoyed exploring Hanbury Hall I was also looking forward to exploring the gardens. With 20 acres of re-created 18th century gardens and 400 acres of park providing tranquil surroundings in which to either sit or walk as well as spots in which to enjoy games. I had a guided tour of the gardens by Caroline, capsule the head gardener, it was wonderful to hear about how the team look after the gardens as well as how the previous owners of Hanbury Hall would have used the gardens.
The gardens start at the side of the house where there is a formal vegetable garden. There is a lovely view of this from the new Chambers tearoom.
The Parterre is accessed directly from this and has a wonderful mix of buxus hedges and colourful flowers. The National Trust has spent 20 years restoring the Parterre to its former glory. Until 1992 it was a wilderness after Emma Vernon ripped out the original Parterre in the 18th century.
Leading on from the Parterre is the fruit garden where black Worcester pears are grown.
Next we head towards the Orangery, built in 1750 to house citrus fruits, which was a big status symbol back in the 18th centruy. During September to March the plants are kept inside and then brought out in the warmer months.
Around the corner from the Orangery is the mushroom house. This was last used for storing mushrooms back in 1878, today it is used for storing apples, pears and rhubarb crowns. A little more of a stroll and we came to Kytes orchard.
At the far end of the gardens is the walled garden. This distance from the main house was the norm during the Capability Brown era. This is a Soil Association approved organic garden with an array of vegetables including beetroot, carrots, cabbage, celeriac, courgettes, peppers, raspberrys, pumpkins, black berries and onions, to name a few.
The produce grown is used by the chef to prepare the food sold in the servants hall tearoom, Stableyard outdoor cafe and Chambers tearoom. There is also a stall where visitors can purchase produce.
Hanbury Hall Gardens also supply 13 other local National Trust properties with peat free plants. Over a year this can total 22,000 plants distributed.
We start to make our way back towards the house walking across the Orangery lawn and past the bowling green.
We approach two very different areas. The wilderness which to be is more manicured than wilderness.
And then the Grove.
After an hour of exploring these wonderful gardens I partook in afternoon tea in the new Chambers tearoom. I indulged in homemade scones with jam made from the fruit in the walled garden, as well as lemon drizzle cake made from the lemons straight from the Orangery.
Viewing the gardens at Hanbury Hall provided a full picture of what life would have been like for Emma, Henry, Doris and George etc.
My final installment from Hanbury Hall will focus on the staff and volunteers going behind the scenes to show you what it takes to keep a National Trust property in tip top condition for us all to enjoy.