Apologies for the length of time since the last blog post, but running Court Lodge has once again been getting in the way of writing about running Court Lodge. What I’ve been meaning to write about is some of the research we’ve been doing by visiting local gardens. There are two reasons for this: we are planning to open the Court Lodge Garden to the public next year, so we want to get an idea of what is on offer to garden enthusiasts near here. In other words, we are checking out the competition! But we also have a more specific focus for our research, which is, of course, to look at more gardens designed by James Pulham and Son. We’ve seen a few of these lately, and would like to visit many more. Luckily the school summer holidays have just started, so we have the perfect excuse to get out and flex our National Trust cards!
A few weeks ago we went to Sheffield Park, which has a lovely Pulham cascade between two lakes. Sheffield Park is a National Trust property, and the garden is beautiful and park-like. We also visited Dunorlan Park in Tunbridge Wells which has a Pulham rockery, as well as a fountain and Grecian temple also designed by Pulham. They are all in beautiful condition, and we were encouraged by the fact that our fernery is vastly bigger than the one at Dunorlan! And then, a couple of weeks ago we visited Gatton Park, near Reigate, that has a Pulham pond and rockery that have recently been restored. We were shown round Gatton Park by Glyn Sherratt, the Landscape and Heritage Officer for the Gatton Trust, who was incredibly helpful and encouraging. He gave us lots of information about how to find out more about our garden, and also how to go about applying for grants to help with the restoration. Gatton Park also has a large team of volunteers, so he told us about how he manages all these enthusiastic helpers. We came away feeling very inspired.
Doing all this research is obviously very hard work and no fun at all, but we soldier on!