21 April 2016 By Tash Ellens
Although it's been a stormy start to spring, the team at Uppark are working harder than ever to maintain the remarkable landscape surrounding the grand 17th century home. We caught up with Senior Gardener, Andy Lewis, to find out how they've prepared the garden for spring and the latest addition of a greenhouse to the nursery area.
With help from volunteers they've carried out lots of work over winter to make the garden more appropriate for its surrounding environment. Volunteers are essential to the National Trust and Andy clearly appreciates the time they commit to the park; he couldn't wait to tell us that he's put two forward for nominations within the local Petersfield Awards. Alan, a master hedge layer, has been nominated for the community award and David, nominated for the personality award, because of their clear dedication they've shown.
The rehabilitation in the winter started with removing the island beds in order to create clearer areas and re-establish the parks origin. The plants from the beds have been re-planted into the nursery area and greenhouse. The simple aluminium greenhouse is a new addition and was donated by the National Trust Petworth park, our Alitex team helped put the structure together as a voluntary exercise in order to help support the growth of plants at Uppark. Andy had recently built new benching for the greenhouse to help make the most of the space, on the benches were several rows of nurtured seedling trays filled with a variety of plants for the cut flower garden.
As we walked around the rest of the gardens we saw a significant array of flowers, all coming to life in the spring sunshine. We think the scent garden will be an all-time favourite for the guests, filled with hyacinths, roses, Sarcococca confusa (also known as Christmas box) and a variety of herbs. The scent garden is not far from the stables and central house area, as we walked around Andy pointed out the tunnels below we'd failed to notice. The park has an extensive history where many features are still strongly present. The tunnels were used by servants to transport food between their parlours, the Masters house, the stables and the dairy.
During the holidays there were Cadbury Easter egg hunts at Uppark along with several other selected National Trust Parks. There are many other events planned, so if you missed out this Easter, you can look forward to Den building, Japanese art, Falconry shows, Jazz days and so much more, just check their website for details.