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Culland Hall opens its gardens for just one day

By Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  Posted: May 16, 2014

Privately-owned estate Culland Hall will open its gardens on June 8 for charity.

Privately-owned estate Culland Hall will open its gardens on June 8 for charity.

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GARDEN enthusiasts are in for a treat when a private hall opens its grounds to the public for just one day to raise money for charity.

Tucked away down a winding country lane, Culland Hall and its four-acre garden have been nurtured for the past 20 years by owner Lucy Thompson.

The gardens will be open on Sunday, June 8, from 11am to 4pm, and the event will raise funds for the Mid-Derbyshire Association for Mobile Physiotherapy – a group that Lucy said was close to her heart.

Lucy, who grew up near Sissinghurst, in Kent, said she was inspired to plant her first border of white flowers at the age of 12.

She said: "Gardens are constantly evolving and I'm always re-evaluating the borders. What looked wonderful last year may well have outgrown itself.

"It's important to keep the vitality – so it really is a continuing project for me."

At Culland, the gardens are divided into "rooms" – a popular technique used by leading gardeners, which makes use of walls, trellis and hedges.

The "rooms" flow effortlessly from one to the other, with wisteria-clad pergolas leading the eye and foot to a cosy kitchen garden, or potager, before revealing a magical woodland glen.

Next to the hall sits a restful walled water garden, alongside more than 100 varieties of roses – climbing, standard and rambling – all fully established and boasting powerful scents.

The garden also has a Victorian walled kitchen garden, a woodland walk, and a large selection of rare and specialist plants.

All of this is surrounded by a lake and parkland, and under Culland's beady-eyed flock of Lleyn and Jacob ewes.

When asked about the future, and how she wanted to further develop the gardens, Lucy said: "I would rather like to indulge in my passion for magnolias."

Anyone feeling inspired by the gardens will be able to purchase specialist and unusual plants from more than 20 exhibitors – some of which are listed with the Royal Horticultural Society.

There will be a selection of stalls offering antique garden furniture and watercolours.

And, for the first time, visitors will be able to purchase Gertrude Jeykll's Munstead flower vases – recently reintroduced to the market by her great-great niece, Christina Freyberg.

Visitors will also be able to use the 19th-century walled kitchen garden to enjoy tea and homemade cakes after walking around the grounds.

Last year's open garden event raised more than £6,000 for the Mid-Derbyshire Association for Mobile Physiotherapy.

There will be free parking, and Scouts with wheelbarrows will help people carry purchases to their cars.

Entry is £5 – and free for children.

Culland Hall is just off the A52 in Brailsford – and there will be plenty of signposts to the event on the day.

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