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Garden Visit | A fascinating tour of The Newt in Somerset

Hadspen, Castle Cary, Somerset

Today you are invited to join us for an exclusive day, taking a very special guided tour of the gardens and many features at The Newt in Somerset, arguably one of the most exciting horticultural projects to have emerged in the UK in the last decade.

We will be in the capable hands of Arthur Cole, Head of Programmes (and former head gardener of the renowned snowdrop garden at Colesbourne), who will explain the background behind this unique estate and then lead us on a guided tour. After coffee in the Cyder Barn we will start our tour in the famous D-shaped parabola walled garden, now home to over 290 expertly-pruned apple trees. Much care and attention has been lavished on the landscaped details everywhere at The Newt and nowhere more so than here.

The horticultural heritage of the gardens is well known, thanks in no small part to garden guru Penelope Hobhouse, who gardened here at Hadspen House with the celebrated plant breeder Eric Smith for over a decade until 1979. Canadian artists Nori & Sandra Pope put their mark on the place from the late 1980s to mid-2000s, creating one of the great colour gardens of England. Then in 2014 South Africans Koos Bekker and Karen Roos purchased the gardens and estate and have worked with architect Patrice Taravella to reimagine them on a grand scale and create The Newt (named after the crested newts that inhabit the site).

Arthur will introduce us to the cascade ponds, colour gardens, cottage fernery, produce area and woodland, and there will be time to explore the fascinating life of bees in the Beezantium and visit the marl pit with its naturalistic planting and grotto. We will take the sinuous tree canopy walkway to visit The Story of Gardening, a beautifully designed immersive and interactive exhibition space inspired by the book of the same name by Penelope Hobhouse & Ambra Edwards. Each of the nine rooms here focuses on a particular period in garden history, from courtyards of the ancient world to hanging gardens in today’s cities.

Arthur will join us for a seasonal two-course lunch with a glass of wine in the Garden Café and there will be time to revisit the gardens at your own pace, as well as browse The Newt’s splendid farm and gift shops before afternoon tea completes this exclusive programme.

This event has been organised by the Garden Museum’s Garden Visits committee. We recommend you read our Garden Visits Attendee Charter and Refund/exchange policy before booking your place on any of our Garden Visits.

Image: © The Newt in Somerset