2009 Visit to Spencers' Garden
In the evening of Thursday, 16th June twenty three members of Ashdon Gardening Club met at Spencers, Great Yeldham. The house is probably best known for being the home of the statesman "Rab" Butler in his later years. His wife Mollie, who died earlier this year, had lived there for nearly 70 years.
The house was built around 1760 and is surrounded by undulating parkland and woodlands. Near the house is a walled garden and behond that are woodland gardens. Gardening Club members wandered through delightful wild flower lawns and ivy clad paths to reach the gate to the walled garden. It opened on to a 17th century greenhouse in which there was a riot of rich coloured blooms. The gardens beyond were overflowing with masses of closely packed flowers and vegetables and fruit. We walked along well tended paths looking at sweet peas succeded by a row of carrots which were followed by sweet williams and cabbbages. Although the "Lord Butler" delphiniums were past their best the bright blue of their flowers was still vibrant. Turning a corner, one of the most surprising areas was a clover lawn which had been formed into a pattern. Some of us were quite relieved to see something with which we could identify from our own gardens. Even a deer was allowed to roam about, easily hidden by som of the long grass behind the clover patch.
We made our way into the woodland gardens which led down sloping paths to a river, passing by a badgers' set. Although more work has been planned the walk was lovely.
Returning to the house we were plied with tea and cake on the terrace and blessed our good fortune in having a beautiful evening for the visit. Our guide then showed us through the ground floor of the house which was a delightfully comfortable family home.
Lisa Swan and Marion Wrigley, two of our members, supplied the photographs on this page. Please click on the pictures to see larger images of the gardens.
If you are interested in obtaining further information on the house and gardens visit Spencers Web site.