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Caxton House garden in Reigate

PUBLISHED: 12:00 30 April 2013 | UPDATED: 12:00 30 April 2013

Caxton House in Reigate

Caxton House in Reigate

Archant

Resplendent with carpets of daffodils, the picturesque gardens at Caxton House in Reigate are a labour of love. Opening this

spring, they provide a spectacular destination

Now well stocked and beautifully cared for, the seven acres of grounds at Caxton House in Reigate were a very different sight when Bob and the late Marjorie Bushby originally bought the property.

“There was really nothing there, just some trees and a practice golf course,” recalls Bob.

Over the past 14 years, the previously plain gardens have been developed into areas of woodland and expanses of lawn with island garden beds, wildlife ponds and colourful containers.

The landscape has slowly evolved, with the pair creating visual interest, encouraging wildlife and providing plenty of seating to allow guests to take time to enjoy the garden.

Initially the garden’s progress was guided by Marjorie, and now Bob continues the process with the help of gardener Richard Hunt.

“My father had a market garden, so growing things must be in the blood, but I got more interested when I married Marjorie, she was a very keen gardener and I have carried on the tradition. I like to plan something new each year; after all I have to keep Richard occupied,” smiles Bob.

A seasonal highlight

Spring is, of course, a highlight season in the garden with the focus on swathes of daffodils, containers bursting with tulips and daffodils, blossom on the bough and abundant hellebores underfoot.

The garden has been designed to be more formal near the house, with a mini-parterre and columned walk. Lawns lead out with rockery and garden beds to a naturalistic woodland and wildlife ponds, complete with nesting moorhen. There is a broad palette of plants to enjoy, with 150 lovely trees, including chestnuts, ginkgo, Stachyurus praecox with its dangling lemon bell-shaped blooms and a selection of prunus varieties lending their spring confetti to the scene.

As the season progresses there is a continued succession of interest from herbaceous planting and roses, through to autumn foliage. With structure from clipped shrubs and buxus, the ephemeral blooms ebb and flow through the year, from the first bulbs to the last leaf fall.

To watch the ever-changing scene, seats have been placed throughout the garden, allowing time for guests to really enjoy the beauty of garden.

“There are lots of places to sit out and they all have their own little views, whether watching the moorhen on the pond, looking over the sea of daffodils or in the wild garden,” adds Bob.

Sharing the garden with visitors is a pleasure he enjoys and Bob regularly opens for charity, including through the National Gardens Scheme, with many making return visits each year to discover the new projects he and Richard have been working on.

The latest to look out for is a new bed with wild daffodils and a perennial and annual mix wildflower meadow.

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