Green fingers, having lots of fun running free, and traditional homemade honey were order of the day at Scolton Manor at their Victorian Garden Party Open Day on the 19th July - we sent our roving reporter Anna along to get the buzz on the event....read her event round up below!
When the team at Scolton, led by Mark Thomas, started renovating the Victorian Walled Garden on site- there was a lot to do. Not only did several building have to be completely relocated, but the four walls had to be rebuilt using traditional Victorian methods, so no wonder that the open day was Victorian themed.
Getting into character we caught up with Abi and Cait in their traditional costume, welcoming all the visitors to the main house. They let us into a staff secret: That ever since they had built the ‘Pineapple House’ (a Victorian heated green house) there had been more than a little competition between the staff and their tomato plants!
Mark led the sizeable group of visitors around the acre sized garden, walled on all four sides, and talked us through the planting to come; traditional fruit trees around the walls, vegetable and herb beds, a cut flower bed for the manor house, and on the far wall- a peach tree. “There are still people who can remember coming in here and plucking a ripe peach from off the wall. We want to recreate that sensation.”
Mark is passionate about being true to the walled gardens’ Victorian roots: using only traditional tools and pure manpower, he hopes to research and recreate what will be an exact replica of a working Victorian walled garden. Even the oak that is used for the thick doors to seal the four entrances in the walls are from trees felled on the 60 acre site at Scolton.
Conservation is also on Marks list, all along the outside of the walls, bat-tiles are being used to encourage bats to visit and nest, and just over the wall the gentle hum and buzz of beehives can be heard as the resident bees go to work. Although they’re now used to make honey, they’ll also be used to pollinate the flowers and fruits inside the walled garden. What clever little busy bees!
Even better than the garden tour was the chance to roam around the entire park, and garden completely free.
Between the garden tours, the craft tent, the manor house itself and the wonderful beehive and honey room- where you can see the entire process of making honey from the hive right through to seeing it end up in jars, there was very little time to pinch a tomato! Besides they were still looking a little green!
As a child and dog friendly attraction Scolton certainly pulled in the crowds and in the glorious sunshine it wasn’t long before everyone needed some homemade refreshment in the Tearooms, and a trip to the gift shop to take home some of the lovely Welsh honey for ourselves.
Scolton Manor house is open from April to October but the 60 acres of parkland, trails and adventure play grounds are open all year round.