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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

Winter/Spring 2015

Thursday, 2 April, Count Down to Easter: Children's Workshop
10.30 am to 12.00 noon, £4 per child (pre–booking essential)
A great opportunity for children to make their own Easter Bonnet and/or Easter Basket. They will get free entry if they bring them along to our Easter Eggstravaganza event on Easter Sunday, 5th April. Children will also have the opportunity to make a miniature garden.

Children must be accompanied by an adult and pre-booking is essential. To book your place please contact the Centre Manager tel: 01926 493339.

Saturday, Sunday and Monday, 4 - 6 April, A Victorian Easter
Normal entry charges and opening hours, 11.00 am to 5.00 pm
Hill Close Gardens is the perfect setting for Easter celebrations. Heritage daffodils, as well as primroses, cowslips and other spring flowers are dotted around the sixteen individual plots that make up these unique restored gardens. In tribute to the Victorian heritage of the gardens, visitors can enjoy a special Victorian Easter. The Cafe will be transformed into a Victorian tearoom our cafe volunteers in Victorian costume. Themed displays in the cafe and around the summerhouses will bring to life the way Victorians celebrated Easter: Floriography (the language of flowers), the emergence of Easter eggs and Easter cards, and the tradition of Simnel Cake.

The gift shop will be open and plants for sale on display near the glasshouse.

Sunday, 5 April, Easter Eggstravaganza
11.00 am to 5.00 pm, normal entry charges
This is a special day of fun for all the family and will include an Easter Egg Hunt, and an Easter Bonnet Parade at 4.00 pm. Normal entry charges will apply but for those children who attended the Count Down to Easter workshop and bring their Easter Bonnet/Basket with them to the gardens they will not be charged entry. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Friday, 10 April, 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.
Come and join the Head Gardener in an informal walk round Hill Close Gardens, which are under his professional care. The focus of the walk is on plants of seasonal interest as well as the new developments in both planting schemes and layout of the different individual gardens. The walks are tailored to match the interest of the participants with plenty of time for discussion and questions. Old varieties of vegetables are grown and are for sale when in season. The Gardens also have a valuable collection of more than 60 different varieties of apples and pears.

Wednesday, 15 April, Grow and Explore Outdoors: a session for children under 5,9.30 am to 11.00 am, cost: £3 for first child in family, each additional child £1, under 1's free
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.

Saturday, Sunday, Monday 2 - 4 May, A Celebration of May day and Springtime
11.00 am to 5.00 pm each day, normal entry charges
This weekend will be devoted to May Day and Springtime in Hill Close Gardens' sixteen restored Victorian gardens. The weekend will offer a chance to re-live our folk traditions and heritage with displays devoted to folk dancing, maypole dancing, and the ancient tradition of well dressing. It is all set amongst the brick summerhouses, flower borders, vegetables, fruit trees and auricular theatres which make up Hill Close Gardens.

Refreshments are served in our cafe overlooking the gardens, and there is a large greenhouse and plant sales area. The gift shop is located at the entrance to the Visitor Centre.

Please note: an event is occurring at Warwick Racecourse on Monday, 4 May, and parking outside the Gardens will be difficult. There is a very convenient multi-story car park at the top of Linen Street. On leaving the car park please follow the signs to Hill Close Gardens.

Friday, 8 May, 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.
Come and join the Head Gardener in an informal walk round Hill Close Gardens, which are under his professional care. The focus of the walk is on plants of seasonal interest as well as the new developments in both planting schemes and layout of the different individual gardens. The walks are tailored to match the interest of the participants with plenty of time for discussion and questions. Old varieties of vegetables are grown and are for sale when in season. The Gardens also have a valuable collection of more than 60 different varieties of apples and pears.

Wednesday, 13 May, Grow and Explore Outdoors: a session for children under 5, 9.30 am to 11.00 am, cost: £3 for first child in family, each additional child £1, under 1's free
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.