Celebrating 20 years of the Walled Gardens at Markshall

July marked twenty years since the Walled Gardens in the heart of Markshall’s Arboretum reopened after being redesigned by Brita von Shoenaich in 2003. Now, twenty years on the Walled Gardens, which are thriving under the watchful eye of the Horticultural and Arboretum Team, have been celebrated with a Photography Competition and special evening event.

When Markshall’s charitable trust was formed in 1971, the Walled Gardens had already been cultivated for 300 years. The estate had been left as a gift to the nation by the last private owner, Thomas Phillips Price. In 1998, it was felt appropriate that to mark 100 years since Thomas Phillips Price purchased the estate, the Walled Gardens would become the next focus in the 200-acre Arboretum’s development. By the time the Walled Gardens were reopened in 2003 by the Duchess of Devonshire, almost all of the £150,000 fundraising target had been reached.

Over the last twenty years horticulturalists, arborists, estate workers and volunteers have all contributed to the development and preservation of the Walled Gardens. From hedge cutting around the five separate gardens, introducing new plantings to general upkeep, the impeccable borders and landscaping are an accolade to the team’s efforts and commitment.

In July, Markshall launched the Walled Gardens at 20 Photography Competition to celebrate the anniversary. The team were pleased to see a number of entries for all categories: flora, fauna, shapes and tranquillity. Many local, aspiring photographers, of all ages and abilities had participated in the competition. Four category winners, Lorna Powell, Shirley Tait, John Parish, and Susan Andrews were chosen by the Markshall judges. Also, five runners-up, Andrew Carter, Jayne Kirkby, Karen Dickson, Shirley Tait, and Pam Lawrence had been carefully chosen.

To commemorate the end of the Photography Competition and to celebrate the gardens, Markshall held a special evening event on Friday 25 August for staff, volunteers, trustees, winners, Friends, sponsors, and tenants. Live music, by Mav Duo’s Alejandra and Oscar, filled the Garden of Spheres. Delicious canapés produced by sponsor Blackwells Farm Produce were served and there was plenty of chatter around the gardens.

Markshall were also pleased to be joined by the Chairman of Braintree District Council Diana Garrod who, along with Chair of the Board of Trustees Meriel Barclay, welcomed attendees and highlighted the work of the Arboretum and Horticulture Team. A special thank you goes to the current horticulturalists Sara Boyles and Emma Willy, as well as the current Arboretum Team Ian Chandler, Martin Bowers, Robert Page, Matt Thomas, Iain King, Mick Kempster, and the Arboretum volunteers which support them.

It is with thanks to Markshall’s supporters, Friends, visitors and sponsors, Blackwells Farm Produce, Perrywood and Kings Seeds, that Markshall is able to continue developing the unique landscape and continue to hold special events.

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  • The Mav Duo performing in the Garden of Spheres
  • Chair of the Board of Trustees Meriel Barclay welcomes attendees
  • Fauna Photography Competition Category
  • Shapes Photography Competition Category
  • Tranquility Photography Competition Category
  • Susan Andrews
  • Karen Dickson
  • Lorna Powell
  • Andrew Carter
  • Pam Lawrence
  • Councillor Diana Garrod
  • Markshall Team
  • Attendees enjoying canapés provided by Blackwells Farm Produce
  • Attendees enjoying music by the Mav Duo
  • The Mav Duo