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Welcome back to the gardens

By Peter Keefe

Highdown Gardens - Peter Keefe, Senior GardenerHello my name is Pete, I am the Senior Gardener here at Highdown Gardens.

It’s August and the Garden is now open to the public without booking being required, we hope this will continue. When we first opened in June it was with a limited number of visitors and a booking system in place, we would like to say a big thank you to everyone for respecting this necessary inconvenience.

Seeing people back in the garden, taking their time to enjoy the wonderful collection of plants makes all the hard work worth it. In fact, we are now in our peak visitor season!

If you are planning a visit to the garden, please take the time to read our new information panels at the entrance to the garden, they provide an overview of what you can expect from your visit, as well as a few reminders of how everyone can play a part in protecting the garden and its collection of plants.

The new areas in the garden have been a great success. The new prairie borders are really starting to look wonderful, even though it is only their first year, this display should hopefully only get better as the individual plants grow bigger and stronger. Our new sensory garden has also been very popular with visitors, with its raised beds bringing the plants up to eye level. The new accessible bonded gravel path links these two areas so they can be appreciated by all of our visitors.

We also have two new members of the garden team to introduce you to!

First is Glenn, who until recently had been the sole gardener in a prestigious garden in Dorset for several years, is now looking after the middle garden which contains a few of Highdowns best plants including our champion tree.

Second is Lisa, who has retrained as a gardener, gaining several horticultural qualifications and had been working at a lovely private garden in East Sussex for several years. Lisa is now looking after the Sensory Garden, the lower rose garden and other key areas. They have joined an existing team of gardeners consisting of Toby, Charlotte and myself. See a picture of the updated team below…

Left to right: Charlotte, Glenn, Lisa, Pete and Toby

Highdown staff - (L-R) Charlotte, Glenn, Lisa, Pete and Toby

 

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