A Northamptonshire stately home is to feature in a BBC programme.
Kelmarsh Hall will feature in a new BBC Two series seeking to reverse the decline in Britain’s horticultural history.
Great British Garden Revival, which started this month, brings together the BBC’s most-loved gardening experts who are determined to turn the public back into a green-fingered nation once again. More and more front and back gardens are paved over – for development, for parking spaces, or because families don’t have the time or inclination to manage these spaces.
The trend for easy-to-maintain lawns, patios and paving has also led to a decline in traditional gardens full of flowers, plants and trees to the extent that some of the country’s most iconic flora and fauna have all but disappeared.
In each episode, two presenters will focus on an endangered aspect of gardens about which they feel passionately, and offer hands-on, practical advice to viewers on how they can restore and look after their gardens.
Kelmarsh Hall features in the Cut Flowers episode on January 6 at 7pm, when presenter Rachel de Thame investigates the decline of Britain’s cut-flower industry. During her campaign she discovers that 90 per cent of our cut flowers are imported. Cut flowers are big business and £120 million a year is spent on wedding flowers. Rachel’s cut flower HQ is the walled garden at Kelmarsh, and throughout the show she gives her tips on how to grow, cut and arrange flowers from the cutting garden.
As part of the episode, Kelmarsh’s in-house florist, Louise Wesley, explains how she uses the cut flowers grown in the garden to produce floral displays for the hall, a common practice when it was lived in, particularly at the start of the 20th century. Former resident and society decorator Nancy Lancaster, who lived at Kelmarsh Hall during the 1920s and then again just after the Second World War, loved nothing more than filling the hall with an abundance of freshly-cut flowers from the garden.
Kelmarsh gardener Fiona Alexander said: “We are very honoured that the BBC has chosen to film at Kelmarsh. We pride ourselves on our variety of cut flowers, ranging from the cottage-style delphiniums, lupins and foxgloves through to the light and feathery Ammi majus, sweet pea and phlox. They also make lovely additions to wedding bouquets for couples who get married in the hall.”
Kelmarsh Hall will next be open for a Spring Walk on Sunday, February 23, from 11am to 3pm, when visitors can enjoy an invigorating walk and see signs of life in the gardens.
The hall and gardens will then re-open to the public at Easter on Sunday, April 20.
For full details of opening times visit www.kelmarsh.com or call 01604 686543.