Gardens at Market Drayton hotel to open for charity
A Market Drayton hotel's five-acre gardens will open to the public soon, and the veteran gardener that looks after them is excited to share his team's work.
The grounds at Goldstone Hall Hotel will open for eight days this year as part of the National Garden Scheme (NGS), and the first is next week on May 29.
"This will be our sixth year opening for the NGS charities," said head gardener Nick Huxley, who has worked at the hotel for 16 years.
"Each year we like to make sure there is something new for the visitors – this year we have planted a wild garden under the cherry tree in the walled garden, and I have made our cutting flower garden more interesting rather than straight lines.
"There is five acres here and the day is rammed with things that need doing.
"I’m looking forward to meeting the visitors in the garden – a lot of the time I don’t get to meet the guests for very long but on NGS days it’s nice to get to chat to fellow gardeners."
Each of the NGS days this year will raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support, Marie Curie, Hospice UK, Parkinson's UK, Carers Trust, the MS Society and the Queen's Nursing Institute. The hotel has already raised £15,000 through the NGS in past years.
The site includes a walled garden, rose garden, kitchen garden and more. They will all be open next Wednesday between 2pm and 9pm.
Admission will cost £5.
People will be able to buy a slice of cake and a cup of tea for an additional cost.
Children go free and groups are also welcome.
Asked about his favourite spot in the gardens, Nick said: "The greenhouse and poly tunnel are great on a wet cold day, a good day of digging in well rotted farm yard muck on a cool, dry winter day.
"Looking at the box hedges after I have clipped them all square and neat in June, and I am always pleased when I unlock the secret to something that has been reluctant to grow.
"We like to say there are two and a half of us – there is myself and I’m in the garden full time, Danny who also looks after Goldstone’s general sense of order, and my son Andy who works in the garden three days of the week and the kitchen two days of the week."
The other open days this year are on June 12, June 26, July 10, July 30, August 6, August 14 and September 4.