60 years of sharing a beautiful garden

March 28 2019
60 years of sharing a beautiful garden

SIXTY years ago John Naish opened Algars Manor garden in Iron Acton to the public for the first time, as part of the National Garden Scheme.

Right next door to him was Algars Mill, in his neighbour’s garden. They both used to be part of the same estate on the banks of the River Frome. In the 1980’s, the owners at the time, John and Barbara Naish, and Marilyn Wright, decided to open both the gardens simultaneously.

Today, Barbara still lives at Algars Manor with her daughter Sonya Grubb, her husband and their children – three generations of the same family who enjoy opening the gardens.

Sonya said: “Spring is a wonderful time in the valley and magnolias, camellias and rhododendrons mix with native trees, bluebells and wildflowers to create a profusion of colour.

The River Frome and the leat for Algars Mill run through both properties, quite literally in the mill’s case, and both support a variety of wildlife from moorhens, ducks and kingfishers and, more recently, otters have been seen.

I love sharing the garden and seeing other people enjoy the beautiful outcome of years of hard work put in by my parents. Even better that every penny goes to charity and we get to meet such lovely people who come and support the NGS.”

Funds raised from the entry fee go to support charities such as Macmillan, Marie Curie, and the Carers Trust.

You can reach the gardens on foot from Frampton End Lane or by road from Iron Acton, and there is parking at Algars Manor.

Refreshments are sold in aid of Iron Acton Primary School.

Some paths are steep, but there is disabled access to the upper lawns. Dogs are allowed on leads.

The gardens are open on Sunday April 28 from 2-5pm. Entrance for both gardens costs £5, children are free.

Later in the year Acton Court garden will also open under the scheme. The three-acre walled wildflower meadow and apple orchard, in the grounds of a grade I listed Tudor manor house will open on June 2, 9 and 16 from 11am to 5pm each day.

Admission to Acton Court costs £5 for adults, with children free.