Plunge further into the woods and remains of the famous boating lake can be found, complete with central island and fringed with imposing yellow flags and azaleas that tumble gently to the water's edge. Lady Gilbert had the lake drained after Sir Williams's death. Closer to Grim's Dyke you'll find the kitchen gardens, beehives and Victorian greenhouses that supply fruit, vegetables and honey to our own restaurant. There's even a croquet lawn where tea can be taken during the hot summer months. We are so proud of our gardens that we conduct regular tours - ask at reception for further information.
The rhododendrons, introduced in the late 1850s, burst into life in spring, presided over by the majestic Giant Redwoods and Monkey Puzzle tree. Bluebells carpet the woods and flank the gently winding paths. Indeed, lost paths are still being unearthed as a result of our ongoing restoration of this fertile 49 acres. In 2001 our head gardener discovered a labyrinth of cobbled pathways linking the lake and the dyke to the home farm and a hitherto secret monkey house built for Gilbert's pet monkeys. Walk past Lady Gilbert's treasure sunken rose garden, where over 12 historical varieties of rose bloom, over the moat where the ducks swim quietly, and you'll find Gilbert's orchard, home to many different fruit trees including a Ribbstin Pippin apple invented in 1707.
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