Ellicar Gardens, Nottinghamshire opens Tuesday February 13th 1.30pm-4pm for Garden and Wildlife Journalists, Bloggers and Photographers
Started from scratch from an overgrown field 7 years ago, Ellicar Gardens, a vibrant, 5-acre family garden is a haven for wildlife, as beautiful in the depths of winter as the height of summer.
Here you will enjoy sweeping borders with contemporary, naturalistic planting, where grasses and seed heads are left standing throughout winter as much for their textural beauty as to support the diverse wildlife that has come to live in this garden in a few short years. With a dusting of frost or back lit by the low winter sun, this is a magical landscape during the colder months.
Ellicar Gardens is a relaxed, informal family garden where self-seeding is celebrated and wildlife is welcome. It demonstrates the vital role gardens and landscapes play in providing habitat for our wildlife.
In winter the garden is alive with wild birds. Already 23 species of birds on the Red and Amber Birds of Conservation Concern List thrive and live here. Visitors will enjoy seeing charms of gold finches feasting on a stands of teasels; starlings bathing noisily in the shallows of our Natural Pool and sparrows squabbling over artichoke seed heads in the Rose Garden. Seven species of bats have recently been recorded around our Natural Pool and the healthy amphibian population here feeds our copious grass snakes, which lay their eggs in steaming compost heaps around the gardens.
In summer the borders vibrate with diverse butterflies, bumblebees and insects. At ground level invertebrates feed creeping birds and hedgehogs and Voles feed our resident Tawny owls, Barn owls and Kestrels- all three species nesting and successfully rearing their young in our garden.The garden is in good health, free from pests and diseases and these higher predators indicate a diverse ecosystem.
For garden lovers, in late February the Winter Garden is a sensory treat with vibrant coloured Cornus, pathways edged with sweet smelling sarcococca, fragrant Daphnes and swathes of sultry hellebores studded with snowdrops carpet the floor beneath silver birch trees.
At the heart of the garden is our spectacular Natural Pool, fringed with coloured willows and vibrant red dogwoods. In summer we swim in its crystal clear water with dragonflies, newts and swallows dipping and our kingfisher regularly uses the deck chairs as a hunting perch. Stunning in winter, the pool is like a giant sky mirror reflecting tree silhouettes and mirroring the sky.
Ellicar Gardens opens Fridays throughout summer, and on Februray 25th for the National Garden Scheme.
Amongst the 5 acres visitors will enjoy exploring the children’s garden, willow maze, woodland walk, plant courtyard, orchard, gravel garden and rose garden. Added attractions include a Tea Room with home baked cakes and the Murch family’s small holding of rare breeds animals. Visitors can say hello to Sarah’s friendly Golden Guernsey goats, Kune Kune pigs, Hebridean sheep, native ponies, our giant Toulouse guard goose and a tribe of Pekin Bantams who wander freely around the gardens.
Ellicar Gardens is a great day out for families, wildlife enthusiasts and garden lovers alike.
Entry for NGS £4.50 adults, children free, includes combined admission to Holmes Villa, Walkeringham. Teas served in Walkeringham village hall.
For further information and opening dates for summer 2018 see:
Ellicar Gardens, Carr Rd, Gringley on the Hill, Doncaster, Notts DN10 4SN
To book onto our Press Day please contact Sarah at firstname.lastname@example.org