Last week we looked at the derelict rose garden at the Hopwood Garden. A forgotten gem within the landscape it has now become part of the students work at the garden as they work towards bringing it back to life. We're working on no budget and on a wing and prayer as we look for original pictures of the rose garden, and boy have we found some corkers. Plus, we have a lovely surprise to reveal which has breathed life into this old, lost garden.
The students working on the garden have started to removed the trees with bow saws, mattocks and a bonfire or two that has fizzled out in all this damp and rain. Some of the smaller trees are being cut for the vegetable garden as supports. We have around seventy new supports for our beans. We have bean sticks! Doubtful that this old tradition has seen the light of day on this manor since the Victorian age.
More of the path is being revealed with shovel and brush and more of the past is coming into the present. Though every stump cut down reveals more damage to stone work and brick work (though it becomes quickly apparent that the brick work is a much later addition).
We're sent some wonderful images that reveal what once stood, what has been lost and what we can return to its former glory. Here is a wonderful photo from the 1970s and there is our path but surely the path can't be any older? Maybe it was put down before the Second World War, one of those 1930s paths that harked back to arts and crafts.
Accept when you wind back the clock further and sure enough there's that garden and the orangery long gone. We may not be able to bring back the orangery but hopefully, thanks to Fryer's Roses down in Knutsford, we can bring back the colour of that rose garden. Yes, Fryer's have offered us support and donations of plants to bring this garden back into a riot of colour and scent.
So, join us over this year as we wind back the clock once more to an Edwardian age, a time before trenches, warfare and an entire generation of gardeners wiped out taking their knowledge with them. Let us celebrate the formal garden once more and with rumours of a famous herbaceous border that once lurked nearby, whispers of a rock garden and a few images of the Italian Garden, we may be able to start piecing the past of this important garden back together. So, if you know this garden, have any stories about it, contact us, tell us, support us, be part of this garden and volunteer.