Stanhoe gardens open as annual fundraiser endures

Jill Hattrell and David O'Neill relax in Moray Cottage's back garden
STANHOE OPEN GARDENS Jill Hattrell and David O'Neill relax in Moray Cottage's back garden

Stanhoe’s annual open gardens on Saturday attracted visitors from far beyond the village boundary.

Ten gardens were open to the public, featuring everything from the traditional country cottage to a country house.

It has been an annual event for over 40 years and is believed that the village was one of the first in the country to host an open gardens event.

The event raised round £2,500 last year and parochial church council treasurer, Dr Roger Hargreaves, said a current project was to install and toilet and create an area for community functions within the All Saints church itself.

Some of the gardens on show, like Barwick House, have been maturing for hundreds of years.

Built in the 1740s with Edwardian additions, it was the home of Admiral Robert Glover who, whenever he had the money, built barns around the village.

Jill Husselby, who currently lives in the house with her husband Bill, said: “It is a typical country house of manicured lawns, a formal garden and woodland walks.”

On the other hand, Moray Cottage was a wilderness 14 years ago when Judy Hattrell took it over.

She has created an attractive courtyard in front of the property and a walled garden with pond at the rear.

The Flint House, owned by Nigel Wickens is a story of two parts. The back garden is a structured oasis, crowded with many scented flowers. The front garden is a semi-wild haven for wild-life with twisty tunnels and an arbour with running water.

Mr Wickens, now 80, said: “I think it will get even wilder as I get older,” he said.

Meanwhile, Cloves Cottage is partly given over to vegetables. They win most of the prizes for Bill Punter at the village’s annual horticultural show but the other part is a crowded mass of colour.

“It is a garden of all sorts with climbers, trees, bushes, flowers, fruit and beg,” said Mr Punter, who along with wife, Diane, find it impossible to stop improving what is already a top class show garden.

It is also a haven for birds with several bird boxes, one of which has already hatched two sets of blue tits.