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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

Spring/Summer 2015

Thursday, 28 May, Boggling Bug Hunt: Children's Workshop,
10.30 am to 12.00 noon, £4 per child (pre–booking essential)
Come and discover more about the creatures that live in the Gardens. Search the piles of rotting wood for beetles or lift stones to see what hides underneath. Watch the bees and bumble bees pollinating the flowers and admire the beautiful butterflies that flutter around the gardens in the sunshine.

Friday, 12 June, 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.

Sunday, 21 June, Midsummer Music in the Gardens
Performance starts at 7.30 pm, Gardens open 6.00 pm to 9.30 pm, adults £1o, children £5 per child
Visitors can enjoy a rather special Midsummer Night with a picnic in these historic restored gardens and a chance to wander around the 16 individual plots that make up Hill Close Gardens. This is followed by music through the evening. We welcome the return this year of singer Katie Leaver and pianist Emma Cockbill performing a programme of classical, opera, and operetta favourites.

Programme:
Opera and operetta - Mozart, Puccini, Saint-Saens, Bizet and Novello
Piano solos - Mozart and Tchaikovsky

Interval

Songs from musicals - Gershwin, Porter, Kern and Rogers
Piano solos - Grieg and Gershwin

Cake and drinks will be on sale in the Visitor Centre.

Sunday, 5 July, Warwick Open Gardens in aid of Air Ambulance and gardening charities
11.00 am to 5.00 pm, admission: adults, £5, children free
Each year the Gardens join with other gardens in the area to raise funds for charity. All our admission charges are donated to these charities. Thank you for supporting us.

Wednesday, 8 July, Grow and Explore Outdoors: a session for children under 5yrs
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.

Friday, 10 July, 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.

Thursday, 23 July, Scare the Crows : Children's Workshop
10.30 am to 12.00 noon, £4 per child, booking essential
Children are invited to come to the Gardens to enjoy making their very own scarecrow. Everyone has fun at this workshop including accompanying parents. Please bring your own selection of small children's or baby clothes to dress your scarecrow. Don't forget that booking is essential as this is always a very popular event.

To book your place please contact the Centre Manager, tel: 01926 493339 or email: e-mail: centremanager@hcgt.org.uk.

Tuesday, 28 July, Heartbreak Productions Drama: Love's Labour's Lost
Picnic in Gardens from 5.30 pm, drama starts at 7.00 pm. Tickets £13, concessions £10.50
Once again Heartbreak Productions are coming to Hill Close Gardens. This year they will perform Love's Labour's Lost, a very popular and amusing Shakespeare play. The Gardens will open at 5.30 pm so you can come and enjoy your picnic on the lawn before the performance starts. The cafe will be open serving hot and cold drinks before the performance starts and during the interval.

To learn more about Heartbreak Productions and the play they are performing, Love's Labour's Lost, please go to their website: heartbreakproductions.co.uk

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.