Last year our chapel and gazebos in the garden were restored back to their former glory. This year our Plant House - a modern recreation of Lawrence Johnston's original building - and our tennis court are both being renovated signaling the start of some important conservation projects at Hidcote.
What's happening to the Plant House?
Our Plant Shelter is a modern recreation of the building we know Lawrence Johnston built in the garden to protect some of his more tender plants.We have been monitoring the deterioration of the structure and have installed structural steel supports and brackets to ensure the main beams remain secure.
Recent strong winds (up to 60mph this winter) along with rain and heavy snow have led us to assess the safety of the structure for staff and visitors as some panes have blown off, others have fallen inwards, and many had slipped down.
To ensure the safety of everyone we have decided to remove the glass from the roof. The continued gradual deterioration of the whole building means this is an inevitable stage in the future and so we have opted to do it now before a significant collapse or “blow out” occurs. We are removing the rotten glazing bars, adding some additional puli’s and covering the roof with sheeting to protect the valuable plant collection below.
How long will this work take?
This current phase will take around six weeks.This is a temporary solution which will be waterproof and slow the continued deterioration of the main structure while we make plans and raise funds to build a new one. We are hoping to be able to do this in the next three to five years, but will need to raise a great deal of extra funding to do so -let us know if you would like to help.
What has happened to the plants inside?
Most of the plants in pots have been moved to the glasshouse where they can still be kept warm and both plants and pots are safe from any potential damage. The plants that are planted in the permanent beds have been pruned back slightly to allow for scaffolding to be constructed and also to allow the builders access. Some have also been tied back to protect their branches from damage and to keep them out of the way. We met with the builders and scaffolders in advance to discuss the importance and fragility of some of the plants to ensure that they would be kept as safe as possible.
How can I support the renovation of the Plant House?
Manoy of our visitors take great joy from the Plant House and throughout the year we are able to host a limited amount of wedding ceremonies in this special building. Please get in touch with Michelle Bailey at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to support us in renovating the Plant House.
Our much loved tennis court is also due a spruce up over the winter. The tennis court will remain closed until the court has been cleaned, repainted and a new net and posts have been installed.