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Hill Close Gardens

 

Opening Times

 

Summer opening hours
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and admission charges
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Winter opening hours
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and admission charges
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Visitor Comments

Spirit of Christmas
1 December 2013
"
I would just like to say how much my family and I enjoyed the day. We have lived in Warwick all of our lives and have never before been to Hill Close but we will certainly be back soon.
The staff (volunteers) on Sunday were a credit to any organisation, they were helpful, informative, friendly and fun. They encouraged my 2 year old son to take part without being pushy and he loved every minute of it. He especially enjoyed the bell ringing and Santa (who was excellent). The entire event was professionally run and a pleasure to be part of."

 

Useful Links

 

Events at Hill Close Gardens

Summer 2014

From Saturday and Sunday, 5 - 6 April, Gardens and Café Open Each Weekend 11.00 am to 5.00 pm
From Saturday 5 April the Lammas room café in the Visitor Centre will be open to all our visitors each weekend until Sunday, 26 October. Entry tickets are purchased here and a variety of leaflets, including a map of the Gardens, are available too.

The Café serves refreshments including tea, filter coffee, hot chocolate, soft drinks, cake, teacakes, biscuits and other snacks. The gift shop is also located in the Lammas room with a great selection of gifts for both adults and children.

Friday, 29 August, Apple Walk: Head Gardener's Guided Tour
2.30 pm to 3.30 pm, no extra charge for talk. Normal entry charges to the Gardens will apply.
During this guided walk, the Head Gardener will be looking at the range of heritage varieties growing at Hill Close and some of the stories behind them. He will discuss the origins of the apple and its arrival into Europe along with cultivation requirements. He will also cover the selection and maintenance of apples with a discussion on root stocks and pruning techniques.

Friday, 12 September, Apple Walk: Head Gardener's Guided Tour
2.30 pm to 3.30 pm, no extra charge for talk. Normal entry charges to the Gardens will apply.
During this guided walk, the Head Gardener will be looking at the range of heritage varieties growing at Hill Close and some of the stories behind them. He will discuss the origins of the apple and its arrival into Europe along with cultivation requirements. He will also cover the selection and maintenance of apples with a discussion on root stocks and pruning techniques.

Saturday, 13 September and Sunday, 14 September, Heritage Weekend
11.00 am to 5.00 pm on both days, free entry for all.
Hill Close Gardens are a rare example of sixteen individual Victorian gardens which were owned by local residents in Warwick. These individual gardens were rescued by local residents with the help of English Heritage and have been sympathetically restored together with their brick built summer houses.

Saturday, 20 September, History of Hill Close Gardens Guided Tour
11.00 am to 12.00 noon, no extra charge
The history of these individual Victorian hedged gardens is fascinating and they remain an important, if rather small, part of the overall history of this ancient town. Don't miss this opportunity to attend this special guided tour.

Saturday, 27 September, National Gardens Scheme Open Day
11.00 am to 5.00 pm
Every year Hill Close Gardens supports the National Gardens Scheme and donates all the entry money taken during the day to the charity.

Saturday, 27 September and Sunday, 28 September, Aster Weekend
11.00 am to 5.00 pm, normal entry charges
The Gardens has an interesting collection of asters and the Gardens Team will be putting on a special display for aster enthusiasts. An excellent selection of plants will be on sale near the Victorian glass house.

Wednesday, 8 October, 12 November and 10 December, Grow and Explore Outdoors: a session for children under 5, 9.30 am to 11.00 am, cost: £2.50 for first child in family, each additional child £1
Come to play and explore the Gardens. The activities will be both indoor and outdoor whatever the weather, so please dress appropriately! Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

For other children's events and information about the children's trails more>

For a list of all the events this season more>

Group Visits
Groups of 10 and over can visit the gardens at any time throughout the year for guided tours. The charge is £8 a head to include entrance, a guide and tea and cake in the Centre (minimum charge £80). This is an opportunity to learn about the history and restoration of the gardens with their rich variety of Victorian fruit and flowers, the design and building of the sustainable Hill Close Centre. For further information contact the Centre Manager on tel 01926 493339 or email centremanager@ hcgt.org.uk

Apples, apples, apples.....

A display of unusual varieties of apples

Autumn and Apple Day always bring visitors to see the historic apple collection
Since 1856 apples, pears and plums were known to have been grown in the Gardens as well as soft fruit. Now there are more than 60 different varieties in the Gardens. By the 1990s, the trees were totally overgrown with swags of ivy and brambles. Noreen Jardine, assisted by Geoff Croft and many volunteers, started a programme of clearing and restoring these trees to bring them back to growth and fruit bearing.

The next task was to identify them and this was pursued with energy and persistence by Noreen and eventually most of the trees were named. There is one which has yet to be named. More varieties were planted in 2002 and subsequent years.

The season starts with the earliest dessert apple ‘Beauty of Bath’ 1864, followed by the small deep-red ‘Devonshire Quarrendon’ 1676. The early cookers include ‘Arthur Turner’ 1850 and there is the dual purpose ‘James Grieve’ 1893.
Some of the mid-season apples are ‘Queen’ 1858, ‘Newton Wonder’ 1870 and ‘Peasgood Nonsuch’ 1853, a very large dual purpose apple.  'Lord Derby’ 1862 and ‘Wyken Pippin’ 1703 are late in the season, which finishes with the russets ‘Golden Knob’ 1600s, which last well into the New Year.