Weeds and pansies at Townend

The front of Townend house and garden

George Browne was a keen gardener, who loved his sweet peas, roses and phloxes. We have created his cottage garden here at Townend, with its mix of historic plant varieties and fruit trees.

The Browne family had lived at Townend for over 300 years when the last George inherited the house and farm from his father. He was only in his 40s when he decided to take early retirement and spend his time on creating a colourful garden of prize winning plants at Townend.

Troublesome weeds

George made many notes about his garden in his diaries, including planting schemes, successes and failures.

On 14 August, 1909 he recorded that he ‘took up remainder of Sharp Victor Potatoes, only a poor crop – were touched with frost in spring’. He also jotted down a list of ‘troublesome weeds’, including Enchanters Nightshade, which was a ‘weed with white hairy dots’.

Prize-winning pansies

George’s garden was a mix of colourful flowers, vegetables, herbs and an orchard with apples, plums and damsons. In 1909 he planted 28 varieties of phloxes, all in alphabetical order, as well as 19 varieties of sweetpeas, pansies and delphiniums. George won a number of prizes for his pansies.

With the help of his notes, seed orders, garden plans (he drew a Roses Map in 1902) and surviving trees, we have partially re-created the colourful cottage style garden here at Townend for you to enjoy.