Ragley plans year of open garden events

Redditch Advertiser: The Ragley estate in all its springtime glory. SP The Ragley estate in all its springtime glory. SP

THE Ragley estate is planning a series of special garden open days to run throughout 2014, giving visitors an insight into the planting and particular aspects of the gardens and estate.

The days will also give visitors the chance to meet the head gardener Ross Barbour, and learn about specific plants through the different seasons.

Mr Barbour said: “We are delighted to be holding a series of special Open Days throughout 2014 to showcase our beautiful gardens and enable visitors to learn more about specific plants. We always aim to have something of interest every day of the year for visitors to enjoy.”

The first open days are in February on Wednesday 26 and Thursday 27, allowing the keenest gardeners a look at the gardens in winter as 70 varieties of snowdrops begin to emerge in the winter garden.

By April’s open days on Monday 28 and Tuesday 29, tulips and daffodils will be in full bloom, biringing colour to the gardens, with more than 600 bulbs coming to life including dwarf, heritage and historic species.

In June the gardens will be teaming with life for the open days on Monday 23 and Tuesday 24, and visitors will be able to appreciate Ragley’s rose gardens with roses planted in between herbaceous plants, trees and shrubs, creating a diverse show.

Finally, September’s open garden days on Wednesday 24 and Thursday 25 will let Ragley show off its autumn colours, and late blooming perennials and annuals, giving visitors some tips on how to make the summer feel like it lasts as long as possible.

The 170 hectares of parkland at Ragley were designed by ‘Capability’ Brown during the 18th century, with horticulturalist Robert Marnock enclosing 10 hectares as pleasure grounds, planting them out with meandering paths and a formal Victorian flower garden.

All of the open days cost £5 per person. For more information visit ragleyhall.com.

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