Although part of Croome’s famous landscape designed by ‘Capability’ Brown, which is now owned and managed by National Trust, the 18th century walled garden was acquired separately by the Cronin family 18 years ago, when it was nothing more than an overgrown wilderness with dilapidated buildings. Since then Chris and Karen Cronin have invested an enormous amount of time and money reversing 40 years of decay and 100 years of decline. The continued restoration of the seven-acre site and its associated buildings is on a journey to create one of the finest Georgian walled gardens in the UK. Ongoing work is carried out during the winter months, but visitors will be able to see the extensive restoration work on the greenhouses, borders and working vegetable plots on special dates throughout the seasons.
“This will be our 5th year of regularly opening the gardens to visitors and we are looking forward to revealing some new and exciting developments to the project. The 2nd phase of a state of the art irrigation system has been going in over the winter as well as work on creating a new Mediterranean garden.” – explains Chris.
A series of outdoor sculptures and indoor art exhibitions will be on show from Friday 30th March 2018 until Sunday 30th September 2018. The 9 artists exhibiting their work are; Simon Probyn, Diccon Dadey, Shirley Jones, Daren Greenhow, Paul & Steph Simmons, Shelly Perkins, Alison Bowyer, Karen Edwards and Worcester Embroiderers’ Guild. There will be opportunities to meet the artists on the first Saturday of each exhibition. Those days will be: Saturday 31st March, Saturday 2nd June and 4th August.
“We’re looking forward to hosting outdoor sculpture and indoor art exhibitions this year, showcasing the work of talented and creative artists. The artists have been chosen to provide inspiration to visitors who have an appreciation for gardens as well as art” – said Karen Cronin.
During your visit you can go underground and explore the recently restored tunnels which originally carried hot water pipes as a way of heating the now fully restored glass houses. A new visitor centre and shop offering a range of carefully selected cards, gifts and garden accessories (many of which are made or sourced locally) can be purchased, and a selection of home grown plants and produce will be on sale – weather permitting! Tea, coffee and delicious homemade cakes are available within the gardens.
The privately owned walled gardens will be open in partnership with National Trust every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, plus Bank Holiday Mondays from Friday 30th March 2018 until Sunday 30th September 2018. *Please note that the gardens will be closed to visitors 27-29th July 2018 and 17-19th August 2018 due to private events. Opening hours are 11am-5pm (last entry 4pm). Entry is £5 per adult, children free of charge (when accompanied with a paying adult). More information can be found by visiting www.croomewalledgardens.com. Access to The Walled Gardens is through Croome’s National Trust Visitor Centre where admission tickets can be purchased. If visitors would also like to visit the National Trust parkland and house there is an additional admission charge.