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Explore the garden at The Firs

Visitors in the garden at The Firs, Worcestershire
Visitors in the garden at The Firs | © National Trust Images/Chris Lacey

The classic cottage garden at The Firs offers a place to sit and relax, with colourful borders throughout the year, a fruitful orchard and views of Elgar’s beloved Malverns. Explore the Sound Garden and fill the air with music or take a seat and have a quiet moment in Elgar’s summerhouse.

A classic cottage garden

The garden at Elgar’s birthplace is planted in the classic cottage garden style. After opening the birthplace to the public in the 1930s, Carice, Elgar’s daughter, had the garden redesigned, using a painting by John Chessell Buckler as her inspiration.

Painted in 1856, only a year before Edward Elgar was born in the cottage, the painting shows the garden with an arch, standard roses near the house and two central paths, all of which are still here today.

Visitors sitting on a bench in the garden at The Firs, Worcestershire, in autumn
Roses | © National Trust Images/Chris Lacey

Spring in the garden

Stand up, stretch your arms out wide and look up into the blue skies above!

The daffodils are doing just that in our garden and the primroses are smiling up at you, but snowdrops are shy and so are keeping their heads bowed down.

Do come along and take a peek at what’s popping through the soil in the garden beds; it’s another year and another miracle of nature - little white tips of hidden shoots are starting to work their way up saying ‘Hello, we’re back we were only resting!’

We have a symphony of cyclamen cascading across the garden and harmonious groups of hellebores in white, yellow and pink with their spotted faces hanging down - you’ll need to get low to get the best views of them! These delicate blooms will soon have to make way for the riotous yellow daffodils and red tulips that will shout and sway to attract your attention as you walk by.

Listen to the beech hedge as you enter the garden, the brown leaves from last year’s growth rustles as you walk through the gate as if they are introducing you to Sir Edward and his garden!

Look out for the bees in the orchard! They’ve searched out the blossoms and have started busying themselves collecting pollen.

Our birdboxes are in place in the woodland and we’re crossing our fingers that we’ll have new residents within a couple of months. To help with this we’ve stocked up on speciality bird feeds to attract a wider range of feathery friends, such as great tits, goldfinches, robins, blackbirds, blue tits, chaffinches, sparrows and green woodpeckers.

The orchard

Though relatively small, the orchard at The Firs holds over 60 trees including a wide variety of cooking, eating, and cider apples, as well as a few pear trees including the famous Worcester Black pears.

The orchard grass is managed closely and only mown when necessary. The grass is left to go to flower and seed over the whole season, this enables a range of wildflowers to cultivate including three species of wild orchids. This wonderful environment encourages birds, bees and butterflies to visit each day to feast on the nectar within.

Visitor in the garden sitting next to statue of Edward Elgar at The Firs, Worcestershire
Visitor in the garden sitting next to statue of Edward Elgar at The Firs | © National Trust Images/Trevor Ray Hart

The Sound Garden

Whatever the weather you can make some noise in the outdoor Sound Garden. From ‘Three Blind Mice’ to ‘Pomp and Circumstance’ the dulcet, and perhaps not so dulcet, tones pervade the air around The Firs.

Choose between the three large instruments that wind around the pagoda. There is a vertical xylophone, hammock xylophone and a metallic swirl to create thousands of tunes. Just add your imagination.

Built in 2012 to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and made out of recycled materials these wonderful wooden instruments not only decorate the garden but give The Firs the right atmosphere which may just inspire the next musical genius. Come and fill the air with music.

Woodland area

A short walk from the sound garden, the woodland area allows you to see a wide variety of habitat areas for birds, small animals such as mice, rabbits and hedgehogs plus an array of insects, crickets, slugs and beetles.

Take a moment to sit on the log seats and listen to the birch trees as they sway and rustle their leaves above.

Summerhouse and sculpture

Moved here in the 1980s, Elgar's summerhouse was originally in the garden of his last home 'Marl Bank'.

Nearby is Jemma Pearson's sculpture of Elgar, relaxing and enjoying the uninterrupted view of the Malvern Hills.

View of the house at The Firs, Worcestershire. Birthplace of Sir Edward Elgar

Discover more at The Firs

Find out when The Firs is open, how to get here, the things to see and do and more.

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Things to see and do at The Firs 

The small family home which nurtured the creative genius of Sir Edward Elgar. Visit the cottage where he was born and learn more about his life and work in the visitor centre.

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Visiting The Firs with your dog 

The Firs is a one pawprint rated place. Following Elgar’s great love of dogs, The Firs welcomes dogs on leads in the cottage garden, woodland area and visitor centre. Enjoy a dog friendly visit to Elgar’s birthplace.

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Sir Edward Elgar at The Firs 

Discover more about Sir Edward Elgar, his early days at The Firs, the cottage where he was born, and his life, loves and accolades in the years that followed.

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Sir Edward Elgar at his leisure: The Firs 

Despite being a prolific composer Elgar found much time to indulge his variety of hobbies. Find out more about his favourite football team, his terrible luck at horse racing, and his chosen companions in later life.

Statue of Sir Edward Elgar gazing out to the Malvern Hills at The Firs, Worcestershire

Curating Elgar at The Firs 

Discover more about the Curating Elgar project, a project which looked to make his music relevant for a wider audience through musician-led community workshops and plan your visit to see Curating Elgar at The Firs.

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