For the first meeting of 2017, the Club invited Clare and Gary Matthews to talk about the on-going restoration of Easton Lodge’s gardens by The Gardens of Easton Lodge Preservation Trust.
After a brief history of the Lodge and its past owners, especially Darling Daisy, the Countess of Warwick, members were told about how the estate had evolved from a hunting lodge park to a Grade II listed garden. In 1902, Harold Peto redesigned the gardens for the Countess – with a ‘free hand and unlimited budget’.
The land around the house was transformed and became a series of skilfully-linked gardens. After years of neglect, the Trust and its team of helpers are slowly bringing these gardens back to their full glory and members were shown ‘before and after’ photographs – the most dramatic being after the donation of 100 tons of gravel!
The current project is the 1.9 acre walled garden which is slowly being ‘tamed’. The gardens are only open on specific Public Open Days throughout the spring and summer (see www.eastonlodge.co.uk). The owners of Warwick Lodge are very supportive to the Trust and open their adjoining parkland for visitors on these days so that they can appreciate how the estate looked in its heyday. To encourage more visitors, refreshments are available at Daisy’s Tea Room and there is a dedicated children’s area for the younger visitors.