Hidden Gardens of Grayshott is a wonderful weekend event where you can discover village gardens in a gorgeous part of Hampshire. As it's four years since visitors last saw these hidden jewels, I have a feeling we’ll be seeing some new features in some of our regular gardens when they open to the public again in May 2023.
I recently had the pleasure of meeting Katie & Sean Weir, who own Apley House in the centre of the village and was lucky to get a sneak preview of what’s in store for next year.
They opened their garden for the first time in 2019 and not only did they take pleasure receiving visitors and gaining wonderful feedback, they also learnt some history about their garden from locals, which added to their overall experience.
Apley House is opposite the church and hidden from view. When you enter the sweeping drive you experience a gem of a view across Kingswood Firs. There is much to admire in the gorgeous gardens, consisting of formal lawns, herbaceous borders, water features and woodland walks. The house was built in the 1880s, and if you look back up the drive to the church, you discover a charming picture postcard view right up to its front door.
Sever years ago the area in front of the house was redesigned with a beautiful central feature called “the egg”, aptly named due to its shape! Stepping out of the house, you are faced with a beautiful set of steps drawing you to a path framed by formal herbaceous borders, lawns and short curved beech hedges. It is a sight worth getting up to every morning!
Sean has spent the last couple of years developing his vegetable patch, located in a sheltered, but sunny spot in the garden. He has built several raised beds and garden cold frames and installed a greenhouse. In a couple of months’ time this area will be bursting with produce. I get the feeling this is his pride and joy since he takes a lot of pleasure growing from seed and enjoys eating the results of his labours. Although he did admit that last year he was overrun with pumpkins! He might need to offer excess pumpkins up to the local school for carving scary Halloween faces this year.
He has a few plans for the next few months, which include developing a woodland walk along the bottom of his garden and redesigning a recently discovered ericaceous border, as well as continuing work on a pond area. I, for one, look forward to seeing how these progress in time for the event next year! It was such a pleasure wandering around the garden and made me realise how much I have missed the Hidden Gardens event.
I can’t wait to have fun exploring all the other gardens in the village next year, so make sure you join me and save the date of 28 and 29th May 2023.