Behind the scenes

Chris Gaskin, Gardener

Chris "Mr Winter Garden" Gaskin © Eddie Hyde

Chris "Mr Winter Garden" Gaskin

As a child we had a quarter of an acre of garden and my grandad taught me a lot about gardening. I learnt how to take soft-tip cuttings and to sow seeds. If you want to get into gardening my advice is to find a course at your local horticultural college.

I love the winter garden at Polesden. I planted lots of bulbs, added lots of aconites; when it's flowering, it looks fantastic. My favourite plant is the bat plant.

A home gardening tip - when growing tomatoes in a greenhouse, remove the side shoots and only take off the leaves up to the truss you want to ripen.

Chloƫ Ferrier, Gardener

Chloe always changes her sunglasses to match the flowers © Eddie Hyde

Chloe always changes her sunglasses to match the flowers

I always enjoyed working in my parents' garden. I was in fashion retail but wanted something new that was just as creative. It was film make-up or horticulture and the plants won! If you want to get into gardening, my advice is to work your way up from the bottom and never be afraid to ask questions because gardeners are always learning.

I love the variety in the Polesden gardens. There's always something new to enjoy all year round. My favourite flower is the toad lily. When planning your garden check the view from each room in turn then design and plant accordingly. White plants will ‘glow’ in moonlight and take on a completely different look.

Christina Clowser, Gardener

Christina works hard both in the gardens and on the estate © Eddie Hyde

Christina works hard both in the gardens and on the estate

I work both within the gardens and out on the wider estate – a mix of gardening and countryside management. I found my 6-month internship with the Countryside team invaluable after my degree. I would say practical experience is key to getting any position and the National Trust offers so many different opportunities for volunteers.

My favourite area of the gardens has to be the winter garden, designed by Graham Stuart Thomas and thought to be the only example left in existence. I was really blown away by the beauty and colour in this area of the garden. I love so many flowers and plants - today the common poppy, tomorrow something else!

I have been very lucky to listen, watch and learn first hand from the excellent garden team here at Polesden.

Looking good in the garden

Looking good in the garden

The garden and countryside is full of colour now.

The herbaceous border, cut flower and productive gardens are looking good.

Hydrangeas are in flower in the sunken garden.

Greener gardening

Dig in and get gardening with one of our National Trust spades

At Polesden the team try  to be ‘green gardeners’ and avoid products that harm the environment. We use garlic as a fungicide when planting roses instead of harsh chemicals.

Volunteer thanks

We have over 100 volunteers who give their skills and time to make our gardens look the way they do, from garden tour guides to cut flower arrangers and a handyman team to restore the frames.

Hidden secrets...

Lovely Edwardian desk used by the Head Gardener

This lovely Edwardian oak desk was used by our last Head Gardener and is currently being inventoried to see what secrets it hides...

 

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