Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Secret garden of Sir Christopher opens to public for first time

GARDENS of television fame and famous people are among those open to the public in the new-look line-up for the Porlock Open Gardens event, which starts next week.
Renowned author Sir Christopher Ondaatje is, for the first time, throwing open the gates to his special and hitherto secret garden, Glenthorne.
This unique gem of a sub-tropical terraced garden nestles into a cliff edge and features statues by Henry Moore.
Also open are gardens at Chapel Knapp, which have been featured on national television, while wildlife enthusiasts can enjoy Exmoor Natural History Society’s special wildlife garden at Larkbarrow.
Porlock Tourist Information Centre manager and event organiser Denise Sage said: “As well as the usual delights, this year we have enlisted the help of gardeners from ‘Porlock Outer’ so a host of new gardens are opening at nearby hamlets such as Bossington, Porlock Weir, West Luccombe, and Horner, many of which have never been open to the public before.
“Other gardens open over the weekend include Horner Mill, Worthy Manor, Pitt Farm, and Yearnor, as a many in the village of Porlock itself.
“We are blessed with some of the country’s most naturally beautiful coastline and countryside and we are hoping that more people than ever will come and enjoy these hidden gems.”
The gardens are open over the weekend of May 10 and 11 in aid of Macmillan Nurses and St Nicholas Church, in Porlock Weir.
Weekend tickets cost £4.50 for 23 gardens, excluding Sir Christopher and Lady Ondaatje’s garden, Glenthorne.
Tickets for Glenthorne are limited and must be purchased separately prior to the event as access to the garden is by a 25-minute mini-bus journey from County Gate.
There is no other pedestrian or private vehicular access to this garden.
People wishing to visit Glenthorne need to be able to negotiate steps, and rugged countryside and terraced walks.
Tickets for the weekend and the Glenthorne gardens are available from Porlock Visitor Centre by calling 01643 863150 or emailing porlockci@somerset.gov.uk.
  • Our photographs show parts of Sir Christopher's garden at Glenthorne. Photos submitted.

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