Early Closure Notice: The Castle will close at 4.30pm (last entry 3.30pm, last ticket sold 3pm) on 20th July 2019.
THE PRINCESS ALEXANDRA GARDENS REDEVELOPMENT
The River Len provides a continuous silver thread through the wooded pathways that lead from the main entrance to the Castle. With water at its heart, the old wood garden is being redeveloped over the course of the next few years into six individual gardens which will excite the senses and create interest at every turn. Changing throughout the seasons, these gardens will provide an experience that makes the journey to the Castle enjoyable and different with every visit.
We are fortunate to have the experienced landscape consultant, Matt Jackson MCIhort from Land and Heritage Ltd, working with us on this exciting project. He specialises in restoring and designing landscapes within heritage parks and gardens throughout the UK.
The Oriental Garden
The first of the garden redevelopment areas is underway to open up views across to the cascade and beyond. Massed banks of azaleas will bring extraordinary colour and tall bamboo will add to the oriental feel, with quiet spaces of contemplation. It’s an ‘Englishmen’s Oriental Garden’, influenced by Chinese stroll gardens, but with small Japanese influenced corners, and plants from the wider orient.
The Cedar Lake
Celebrating cedars, open views and majestic trees reflected in the clear waters of the Cedar Lake. The banks and edges around the lake will be restored to prevent further erosion and create crisp lines. It is also the first ‘grand reveal’ of the castle, as one crosses the cascade and continue through the gardens.
The Jungle Garden
Lush planting in this stretch of the walkway will create a jungle effect, at times forming a tunnel of foliage overhead, at others leaving pools of light. Specific plants will include giant forests of bamboo, the great leaves of gunnera, tunnels of willow and swathes of shuttlecock fern.
The Winter Garden
Water plays another key role in the Winter Garden, at times calm and reflective, and at others babbling and vibrant. The creation of a weir and placement boulders in the water’s path will make for magical sounds as well as sights. Large areas of shrubs and trees will provide winter fragrance, stem colour and sounds, whilst the floor is carpeted with winter and spring flowers.
The Woodland Garden
Cool and shady, the woodland garden will act as a calm transition from the wider open areas to the more horticultural Pavilion and Castle gardens. Plants to look out for will be hosta, ferns, euphorbia, hellebore, ligularia and special hydrangeas.
The Pavilion Garden
This beautiful lawn resembles a perfect amphitheatre and grass covered banks will form natural seating for visitors to enjoy outdoor theatre and picnic. The large herbaceous border will be reflected on the other side of the lawn, creating the most spectacular curtains to any stage. A bold selection of herbaceous plants will provide exciting displays of colour and form throughout summer, and into the winter months.