Phil Allen was appointed Head Gardener of Apley Walled Garden in February 2013 when the project began. “It was more important to get the garden back into production, than restore the infrastructure, though of course that happens anyway.”
I couldn’t continue to walk the path over where I knew the dipping pond lay, without one day trying to find it. We are all thrilled to have found it in such good condition.
Michael Coombes, 85, of Bridgnorth, moved to the garden aged 3 when his father was appointed by AW Foster of Apley Hall, as Head Gardener. “We moved from Chatsworth & I spent hours in the garden, watching & recording the insect life on the dipping ponds.“
Lady Harriet Hamilton added, “Michael very accurately remembers incredible detail & sure enough we found the steps down into this dipping pond, exactly where he said they were. This is a great moment in the recent timeline of the garden. “
The garden is now the chef’s pantry for a few local restaurants, including Apley Farm Shop’s Creamery Café. “It means customers can enjoy very fresh & sometimes unusual produce, but also that which has very low food miles & which has been bio-ethically grown” added Lord Hamilton, Apley Estate owner.
Private, pre-booked tours (for 10-50 people) of Apley Walled Garden can be booked online via the Apley Farm Shop or Apley Walled Garden websites.
Phil Allen can be heard on BBC Radio Shropshire’s Sunday morning gardening programme with Paul Shuttleworth. Telford Centre Rotary Club are holding a Gardeners’ Question Time at Apley Farm Shop on Friday 19 May, 5:30-9:30pm, with distinguished MBE awarded gardener David Wassell, as well as Phil Allen & Dave Nobridge. They’re fundraising for the eradication of polio, with match funding by Bill Gates. Tickets are £20 from the Apley Farm Shop or its website.
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