Tales from the Trust team - blogs at Stowe

Each month we'll be bringing you a new edition of Gardener's ramblings from our team member Anna Tolfree. Here you'll find the latest edition and a back catalogue of our gardening work. Watch this space for future insights behind the scenes with the Trust team at Stowe.

Garden volunteers at Stowe, Buckinghamshire

Gardener's ramblings: February 2020

As the new year begins, Senior Gardener Anna Tolfree ponders over last year's efforts to get the gardens into shape as well as looking forward to this year's monumental restoration of one of Stowe's most iconic views and approximately 50 acres without forgetting the regular upkeep jobs to be done.

Frost covers the ground with the sunrising across a lake with a large temple on the opposite side of the bank.

Gardener's ramblings: December 2019

As winter descends, Senior Gardener Anna Tolfree urges you to give nature a home and hold back from the traditional winter prune in her December blog.

A sunset view over a lake with a belt of trees on the horizon and their reflections in the water

Gardener's ramblings: October 2019

With summer firmly in the distant past, Senior Gardener Anna Tolfree takes a moment to pause and look ahead to the next tasks in hand. In this month's blog you can also discover how you can get involved with some of the autumn preparations at Stowe.

Four ladies smile and talk as they look through the summer garden at National Trust Stowe.

Gardener's ramblings: August 2019

After a scorching July, the effect of climate change on the garden and becoming eco-conscious is high on the agenda for this month's blog by Senior Gardener Anna Tolfree.

Purple crocuses

Gardener's ramblings: April

It's been a busy start to year for the gardens and park team at Stowe. In April's blog, Senior Gardener Anna Tolfree reflects upon new beginnings for both the garden and herself this spring.

A gentleman wearing a suit is smiling.

Walking the 'Palladian Way' - Barry's 129 mile fundraising walk

From Sat 23-Sat 30 March Head Gardener Barry Smith undertook a mammoth task of walking 129 miles from Stowe to Prior Park. You can still sponsor his effort to help the restoration of the gardens and park at Stowe and take a look at what happened along the way. The journey united both special places with the two historic Palladian Bridges in our care.

A small building with niche for a bench that is decorated in shells. Autumn leave are scattered across the grass.

Gardener's ramblings: October

When nature seems to be slowing down in preparation for a cold winter, the gardens and parks team at Stowe go into overdrive. In October's blog, Gardener Anna Tolfree prepares for a busy schedule of work in her favourite season - autumn.

The sun shines through a tree in the misty parkland at Stowe, Buckinghamshire

Gardener's ramblings: August

This month, Gardner Anna Tolfree takes a reflective look back at what has made her job special. There's something to be said from sharing your handiwork with a companion.

Two older females bend over into a bed of plants as they weed

Gardener's ramblings: July

In the midst of a summer heatwave, Gardener Anna Tolfree considers the impact on grass conditions with some tips whilst revealing her guilty pleasure, weeding!

Two ladies are working amongst the greenery to prune at Stowe

Gardener's ramblings: June

Gardener Anna Tolfree considers her upcoming restoration of the Sleeping Wood at Stowe whilst casting the spotlight on show gardens. But all that is golden does not glitter.

Open white flowera in an old English shape with a lovely scent in the gardens at National Trust Stowe, Buckinghamshire

Gardener's ramblings: May

In May, Anna reflects upon the fragrant plants that enhance a walk round the garden that relax and refresh the mind, body and soul.

Three arches guide water from one lake into another at Stowe with a dusting of snow.

Gardener's ramblings: March

Gardener Anna Tolfree takes you through the triumphs and tribulations of her latest work in March at Stowe in this behind the scenes blog.

A view across a frosty lawn, a lake and behind sits a semi-circular temple with busts of famous people at Stowe

Gardener's ramblings: February

Stowe's gardener, Anna Tolfree, takes a moment to reflect on her work throughout 2017 and the year ahead in February's edition of Gardener's ramblings.

The Palladian Bridge at Stowe covered in snow.

Stowe gardener's ramblings: December 2017

Expert Stowe gardener Anna Tolfree discusses the restoration of the Labyrinth and all things Christmas, giving some insight into what goes on behind the scenes when looking after a landscape garden such as Stowe.

A Spindle tree (Euonymus europaeus) with scarlet leaves in a clearing in the woods

Gardener's ramblings: November 2017

Stowe gardener Anna Tolfree tells us the joys of naming your plants and the trials and tribulations of autumn and winter gardening.

Autumn colour of bright orange and yellow on the trees reflects upon the Octogan Lake at Stowe

Stowe gardener's ramblings: October 2017

Expert Stowe gardener Anna Tolfree discusses the delights and highlights of working in a landscape garden in the autumn, with lots of hints and tips along the way.

Butterfly sitting on an Aster

Garden ramblings: August 2017

Expert Stowe Gardener Anna Tolfree discusses the trials and tribulations of working in a landscape garden in the height of summer, with lots of hints and tips along the way.

Brunnera macrophylla in spring garden at Charlecote Park

Gardener's Ramblings - June 2017

Stowe gardener Anna Tolfree gives us an insight into the work that goes on behind the scenes in June.

Purple crocuses

Gardener's ramblings - spring 2017

A spring update from one of our fabulous Gardeners, Anna Tolfree.

" It is full summer now, the heart of June; Not yet the sunburnt reapers are astir Upon the upland meadow where too soon Rich autumn time, the season's usurer, Will lend his hoarded gold to all the trees, And see his treasure scattered by the wild and spendthrift breeze. "
- Excerpt taken from 'The Garden of Eros' by Oscar Wilde