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Gardens at Flintham and Hoveringham halls among many opening to the public this weekend

There is a rare chance to see two halls’ gardens this weekend when they open to the public.

The gardens of Flintham Hall and Hoveringham Hall will open on Sunday.

Flintham Hall is open from 1pm, as part of the National Gardens Scheme.

The Georgian walled garden at Flintham Hall.  (57285600)
The Georgian walled garden at Flintham Hall. (57285600)

The hall has been the family home of the Thoroton Hildyard family for more than 230 years and it’s dramatic grounds include a Georgian walled garden and a one-acre orchard.

Its scenery has appeared on the silver screen as the setting for the 2008 rom-com Easy Virtue starring Oscar-winner Colin Firth and Kristen Scott Thomas.

Head gardener Philip Preston said: “I feel the unique quality of the gardens live in its long history of being shaped by the tastes of one family, the trends they have chosen to embrace together with more personal impulses.

The hall has an acre of orchard.  (57285589)
The hall has an acre of orchard. (57285589)

“There is a loose freedom, which, combined with the maturity and scale of the place, can feel enchanting.

“Both the walled garden and orchard have evolved over time and Sir Robert Hildyard and his family wish to continue this with the introduction of appropriate new varieties and diligent maintenance.”

The walled garden has classic 18th Century features, including heated brick walls, a vineyard, paths bordered by box hedging, a garden house and fruit trees.

The Georgian walled garden at Flintham Hall.  (57285593)
The Georgian walled garden at Flintham Hall. (57285593)

Mr Preston said: “We grow annually more than 2,000 half-hardy annuals for the borders, containers, and other areas. These are supplemented by plants from specialist nurseries.

“The intensively planted areas amount to about three acres, and we have considerable input into other areas of what may be termed the ‘pleasure grounds’ enclosed by the ha-ha.”

A ha-ha is a landscape design that creates a vertical barrier on one side — yet keeps an uninterrupted view from the other.

Flintham Hall's gardens will be open this weekend.  (57285603)
Flintham Hall’s gardens will be open this weekend. (57285603)

The gardens will be open from 1pm with last entry at 4.15pm. Tickets cost £7.50 a person — children under 16 years go free.

There are also stalls offering plants, local crafts, home-made cakes, and refreshments.

Proceeds go to the selected charities the scheme supports, including Macmillan Cancer Support, Marie Curie and The Queen’s Nursing Institute.

There will also be a donation to St Augustine’s Church, Flintham.

The hall has an acre of orchard.  (57285596)
The hall has an acre of orchard. (57285596)

Sir Robert said: “We are delighted to be opening the gardens once again, for a variety of worthy causes.

“A lot of demanding work has gone into making the gardens special and it’s good to know we can share them with so many people.”

The Georgian walled garden at Flintham Hall.  (57285583)
The Georgian walled garden at Flintham Hall. (57285583)

The award-winning Flintham Museum will also be open on the Sunday, from 3pm.

The current shop window features The Flintham Agricultural Show, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.

Hoveringham Hall’s garden is open on Sunday, from 1pm to 5.30pm, as part of Hoveringham Open Gardens.

The hall has been in the Nall family since 1858 and has an unusual Victorian water tower, Victorian orchard and a rare cast iron ornate glasshouse dating from the 1850s.

It is a very large garden enjoying stunning views across the Trent Valley.

Entry to all eight open gardens in the village, including the hall, is £5, with under-16s free.

Two gardens in Ossington also open on Sunday, 2pm to 5pm.

Hopbine Farmhouse, on Main Street, is a garden in two separate halves — the southern half has a long herbaceous border with arbor, while the intimate walled rear garden features a waterfall of clematis and rambling roses.

Ossington House, on Moorhouse Road, is a large country garden with a mixture of woodland planting, formal lawns with beautiful herbaceous borders, terraces, yews, grasses, and a new kitchen garden.

Also open on Sunday are seven gardens in Brant Broughton in aid of the Lincolnshire Churches Trust.

Four of the seven gardens are opening for the first time.

Entry to the gardens is £5 with accompanied children free.

Brant Broughton open gardens.  (57329738)
Brant Broughton open gardens. (57329738)

Programs giving details of all the gardens, plus a map, will be available at the Quaker Meeting House in Meeting House Lane, from where you should start your visit.

Homemade teas will also be available at the meeting house, together with a second-hand gardening book stall.


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