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NORMALLY the award-winning gardens at Arley Hall remain hidden from sight during the winter.
However, for the first time they are opening indefinitely thanks to the unusually warm and dry weather.
“In the past we have always closed the gardens on the last day of October to let them recover after an open season full of visitors,” said General Manager Steve Hamilton.
“This year we feel we can prolong the season because the weather has been so kind and the gardens are still in good condition.”
It will be the first time ever that visitors can see what the Walled Garden, Rootery and vinery look like from November through to March.
They will also be amazed to see the renowned herbaceous border in its winter slumber, although it will have to be viewed from the Furlong Walk.
“The skeleton of the garden will be on display and it has a beauty all of its own,” said Head Gardener Gordon Baillie. “The herbaceous border will be bare revealing the beautiful brick walls that have stood there for centuries.”
The cost of visiting the gardens will be reduced for the next few months because it will not have the colour or variety of plants on show, but it will still make for an enjoyable winter wander.
It can be combined with a walk through the woodland and Grove as well as a stop in The Gardener’s Kitchen café.
Arley’s gardeners will be hard at work replanting the raspberry beds, dressing the borders and completing general maintenance.
However, they will always be happy to stop for a chat and to answer your horticultural questions.
“A peace falls over the gardens at this time of year and it really is a special place to be,” said Gordon. “It will be nice to share it with the visitors for the first time.”