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Lydiard Park's Walled Garden
Lydiard Park's Walled Garden is a rare example of an 18th century Walled Garden.
The following information was orginially published by Lydiard Park here.
In the 1740s, the St John family built this rhombus-shaped garden behind the Coach House and Stable buildings. It was used to grow flowers and fruit as well as providing a pleasant place for the family to stroll after dinner.
As the once grand St John estate declined, so did this garden and by the end of the 20th century, it was in a sad state. As part of the Lydiard Park Project, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the garden was restored to its former glory and re-opened to the public in 2007.
Today the original Georgian garden structure can be appreciated. The garden is divided into six sections with wide pathways with a well and sundial. The narrow beds contain trimmed shrubs and perennial plants, alternating with individual flowers and bulbs.
Along the walls and in the centre of flowerbeds are trained apple, pear, greengage, peach, plum, cherry, apricot and fig trees. The Lydiard Park Gardening Team use traditional, organic methods to tend and maintain the plants. The garden is a haven for wildlife, attracting butterflies and bees.
Restoration of the Walled Garden
In 2005, Lydiard Park received funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund to restore significant 18th century landscape features, including the Walled Garden. At this time, the garden was in a neglected state and contained only a rough grass lawn. Aerial photography and archaeological surveys, conducted by Wessex Archaeology determined the route of the original paths and rediscovered the deep well and stone trough.
Letters in the Lydiard House Collection from Lady Johanna St John to her gardener written in the 17th century gave clues to the types of flowers and herbs planted in the Lydiard Park gardens and wall panels, painted by Diana, 2nd Viscountess Bolingbroke in the 18th century now on display in the Dressing Room of Lydiard House, showed jasmine, narcissi and roses. These helped the Lydiard Park gardening team source historically accurate plants for this Georgian Walled Garden.
Work began in 2006 to replant the Walled Garden perennials, annuals, trimmed shrubs and fruit trees. The gardeners were supported by a huge team of volunteers working to restore this historic garden to its former glory. It opened to the public in May 2007 and, as the planting has become more established, is a fascinating garden to visit in all seasons.
Tickets for the Walled Garden are on sale at Lydiard House or at the Coach House Tea Rooms. For ticket prices and information on how to find Lydiard Park, please click here.