Jul 192012


I’ve been on quite a few work awaydays over the years, and one – a day trip to Ghent, Belgium, for the Floralies in 2010 – will be forever etched into the memory of those involved. Sadly I can’t divulge what happened (what happened in Ghent, stays in Ghent) but let’s just say that it’s strictly UK-only trips from now on.

This year we went to Buckinghamshire (nothing bad ever happens in Buckinghamshire) for a brainstorming session. We discussed the schedule for 2014 (that’s how far ahead gardening magazines work) and then we visited Mary Berry’s garden.

As you can see, it’s rather large. The highlight is most definitely the pond, designed with the help of the former head gardener at Longstock Park Water Garden (Mary has friends in all the right places). It also has a rose walk, tennis court, meadow, lots of herbaceous borders and, not surprisingly, a large kitchen garden. Mary is a knowledgeable gardener and highly recommends Rose ‘Chandos Beauty’ (below) for scent, disease-resistance and flowers until November. I had a sniff and wasn’t disappointed.

And yes, there was cake. Mary was going to give us tea in the conservatory but as it was so cold and wet, she invited us into her kitchen for a cup of tea and a chat. She’s got the biggest Aga I’ve ever seen and the biggest teapot, too.

Apart from us cleaning Mary out of lemon drizzle and chocolate cakes (both delicious, of course), I’m pleased to say that the afternoon passed without incident. Clearly the new awayday policy of venturing no further than 30 minutes from London with no need for foreign currency/a working knowledge of Flemish/valid passports/train tickets/tram tickets/timetables/maps/ash cloud diversions has paid off.

  13 Responses to “Mary Berry’s garden”

  1. Sounds like you’re a lucky girl, Veronica! Looks like you had a great time.

  2. Is Mary’s Garden open for a visit by a WI group please?

    • Hi Elizabeth

      Thanks for your message. Mary’s garden was open for the Yellow Book last year, but I’m not sure if it is this year – I couldn’t find it on the National Gardens Scheme website (www.ngs.org.uk), but I don’t have this year’s book to hand. We arranged our private visit via the NGS, but when we visited she wasn’t in the spotlight as much as she is now, so she may have decided not to open this year for fear of being mobbed!

      Best wishes

  3. On the One Show this week Mary Berry admired one of her roses, very aromatic and good for cutting. Can anyone recall the name of the rose? I would be grateful for a reply

  4. Hi, is mary opening her garden this year 2014? Thanks Pauline

  5. Hello
    I am wondering if Mary will open her garden this year 2016 and if so what date.
    I hope to take a very dear friend to visit this year as a ’70’ birthday treat.

    • Hi Jane – Mary’s garden was open for the Yellow Book (National Gardens Scheme) when I visited a few years ago. We arranged our private visit via the NGS, but when we visited she wasn’t in the spotlight as much as she is now. I’m pretty certain that she doesn’t open the garden any more – probably for fear of being mobbed! If you want to check, she opens the garden under her married name, but I can’t remember what it is. It’s in Penn, in Buckinghamshire. If you’re looking for a lovely garden to visit, I can highly recommend Tom Stuart-Smith’s garden in Herts, also on this blog – he usually opens it in June. Best wishes, Veronica

      Best wishes

  6. Could you please tell me if Mary’s garden is open this year? Thank you.

    • Hi Joan – I have no idea I’m afraid, but it would be worth checking the Yellow Book or NGS website. The garden is in a village in Bucks called Penn. I visited a few years ago now, before she was in the public eye so much.

  7. Mary’s garden was open today, (04.06.16) I live just along the road from her and can confirm that lots of people attended. The village green was used for the car park and 100’s of visitors attended. Seeing them walking along the road reminded me of the old TV adverts “everyone’s going to G plan” .. lol. I am so glad the weather was good today. I wasnt able to attend as I had something else on, but I am sure everyone had a great time.

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