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Behind-the-Scenes Look with Chapel House Estate Gardener

Garden Day is finally here, and we’re thrilled to share our breathtaking Arts and Crafts Gardens here at Chapel House Estate.
We couldn’t let this opportunity pass without getting first-hand insights from the person who works hard to maintain our gardens and the wider landscape.

We asked Juliet, the green-fingered maestro behind Chapel House Estate’s picturesque gardens, some questions to better understand the magic of maintaining our verdant oasis.

What challenges do you face in maintaining Chapel House Estate's gardens?

“Well, the biggest challenge is working around weddings, events, and stays. We don’t cut the grass or do anything noisy when the estate is in use and try to discreetly carry out gardening tasks without photobombing the bride and groom! During peak season, that can be tricky.
Similarly, scheduling big seasonal tasks such as cutting the wild orchard grass after the summer season or trimming the masses of yew hedging (and doing so in the dry) also requires a bit of logistical jiggery-pokery!”

What are your favourite aspects of working at Chapel House Estate?

“I love the birdsong; it is a continuous soundtrack to my working day.

The team here is great; everyone mucks in and strives to make Chapel House Estate a beautiful place to be and celebrate.

I love seeing the wedding pictures, particularly how the estate is captured by professional photographers in different seasons and at different times of the day.”

As a luxury wedding and event venue, are there any particular aspects of maintaining the gardening you have to undertake specifically?

“The estate is used every day so that footfall can take its toll on the lawns, particularly during peak season. We need to consider repairing them when we can.
Confetti is also a challenge. Of course, we love it (the biodegradable kind only), but it takes some tidying!
We are keen on being sustainable, so we produce as much of our compost as possible and support the restaurant by growing herbs, fruit and vegetables.”

What inspired you to pursue a career in gardening?

“No single thing inspired me to be a gardener. I grew up in the countryside, on a small farm and had a very outdoorsy childhood.

After becoming disenchanted by the city and the corporate world, I’ve just gone back to my roots!”

Can you share some tips for our readers looking to enhance their own green spaces at home?

“It’s such a simple thing, but try to stick to the mantra of ‘right plant, right place’.

Every garden is different, and the environment within each garden can vary considerably. For example, your choice of plants for a south facing wall will be different for under a tree canopy. Getting the right plants for the conditions will mean that they can thrive. Replacing plants regularly is expensive and takes time to establish, so ‘right plant, right place’ is always the goal.

Think about how you use your garden. Practicality and functionality are important for getting out and enjoying the space.
Consider planting a tree! There are loads of trees suitable for small gardens that needn’t impact your house foundations or light! A beautiful tree adds movement, height, dappled shade, and a place for wildlife. With careful choice, it can give you interest all year round.”

Follow us on Instagram for regular updates from Juliet.

Let’s take a moment to appreciate the tireless dedication of individuals like Juliet, whose passion for plants and our gardens enriches our lives in more ways than we may realise.

Whether you’re a seasoned horticulturist or have a penchant for petals, there’s something genuinely magical about connecting with the earth and witnessing the beauty of growth firsthand.

We are pleased to participate in the National Garden Scheme gardens in Kent for another year in 2024.

What is the National Garden Scheme, and why do we open?

The National Garden Scheme (NGS) plays a crucial role in promoting and supporting charitable causes, particularly in fundraising. Opening our garden gates allows visitors to explore and enjoy our beautiful gardens while raising funds for charities.

Our garden gates open to a world of beauty and tranquility. Here, you’ll find a unique collection of drought-resistant plants, innovative landscaping designs, and horticultural techniques that are sure to inspire. This experience not only deepens your love for gardening but also equips you with ideas to transform your own garden.

Moreover, the funds raised through garden admissions and sales of refreshments and plants directly support the NGS’s charitable beneficiaries. These include Macmillan Cancer Support, Marie Curie, and Hospice UK, among others. The NGS has been instrumental in providing significant financial support to these charities, enabling them to continue their vital work in caring for those in need.

Ultimately, by opening the garden gates at Chapel House Estate, we contribute to meaningful causes while sharing our passion for our gardens, paddocks, meadows and the Wild Apple Orchards and No 9 Restaurant to create memorable experiences for everyone who visits us:

Sunday 18th August
1-5 pm
Admin £6, Children free

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