Gardens in full bloom

GARDENS that were first planted around 200 years ago have now been restored to their former glory.

From the glasshouse in the Upper Garden, to the borders running alongside the River Bollin, Quarry Bank’s gardens have not looked better since the Greg family were in residence.

“It’s been like putting together a puzzle piece by piece, but looking at the gardens today I feel very proud,” said Head Gardener Sarah Witts.

“Our job as gardeners is to look after what we have now, but for visitors there really is so much to enjoy over the next few months.”

Visitors to Quarry Bank in Wilmslow this summer will discover that vines, marigolds and exotic plants have taken root in the glasshouse.

Outside a herbaceous border will be in full bloom until August and by the river a variety of plants have burst into a palette of peach, blue and silver colours.

“We took over care of the Upper Gardens seven years ago when its paths, planting and fruit trees had been lost or damaged,” said Sarah.

“It is amazing to see how far the gardens have come in such a small space of time.”

A team of five gardeners now care for the gardens and over the years more than 100 volunteers have helped with the restoration project.

One piece of the jigsaw that was vital to the restoration were receipts from Caldwell’s renowned nursery in Knutsford.

They provided details of plant purchases made by the Gregs or their gardeners so offer a kind of blueprint for the garden.

Old photos were of some use, but because they were black and white could only provide an idea of the garden’s structure.

“We never planned to create a carbon copy of the gardens as they were in the Gregs’ time,” said Sarah.

“What we have achieved is recreating the authentic feel of this garden and this summer people can really start to appreciate its beauty and atmosphere.”

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