Beautiful private estate gardens open for Cobalt charity event

The stunning estate of Stowell Park in the heart of the Cotswolds will open its gates for a fundraising event on Sunday 14 July in aid of local medical charity Cobalt.  Visitors can take in the spectacular views and delightful terraced gardens.  The garden opens from 2pm to 5pm.  Admission will be £6 and free of charge for under 16’s. Homemade teas will be available to take in the ballroom.   This year, short talks from Chris Oldham, Head Gardener and Nina O’Hare, Archaeologist, will be held in the walled garden and Church of St Leonard to make the most of the history and heritage of Stowell Park.

The estate near Northleach spans 6,000 acres and has panoramic views of the Coln Valley. Stowell Park only opens three times a year to the public and its walled gardens are a rare treat.   Walled gardens used to be essential for growing food, herbs, fruit, flowers and medicinal plants for large houses, castles and estates in the past. Popular in the heyday of Victorian times, very few remain in use nowadays. Instead we fly in produce from around the world and have access to anything regardless of the season. The garden features beautiful floral displays, borders and terraces.  A cut flower garden spans half an acre and visitors can enjoy walking round the herbaceous plant collection, a kitchen garden, vineries and peach houses.  Glass houses retain heat and the garden is home to a wide range of pot plants, from alpine flowers to tropical orchids, fruit and well stocked water gardens at the bottom of the arboretum.

Chris Oldham, Head Gardener, Stowell Park Estate said “Stowell is very much a private home and the gardens reflect the people who live and work here. Nature and sustainability play a big part in what we stand for. Our kitchen garden supplies fruit and vegetables for the family and is completely organic. We attract pollinators by adding ornamental plants amongst vegetables, while predatory mites feast on red spider mites to help keep our peaches healthy. Swathes of wildflowers attract a variety of butterflies and help our bees to make superb honey.

The walled flower garden gives early warmth and shelter to lines of bearded Iris, Roses and Paeonia, while the deep cut-flower borders provide foliage and colour for floral arrangements throughout the family home.

Terraced formal gardens, velvet lawns and long herbaceous borders frame the beautiful view over the Coln Valley. Tucked away, a fountain garden awaits the adventurous. This hidden corner of the Cotswold no doubt tugs at your heart, and time itself seems to be forgotten. Traditions run deep here but Stowell is very much alive. The gardens are constantly growing and evolving; listen closely enough and you can hear its’ heartbeat! “

St Leonard’s Church also resides in the grounds and will be open to visitors on the day.  It dates back to the 12th century and houses one of the earliest wall paintings to survive in England.

Kirsty Bradbury, Fundraising Engagement Officer, Cobalt said “The gardens are wonderful and volunteers will be helping us on the day to serve teas and homemade cakes in the ballroom.  It’s a rare opportunity to visit the private estate of Lord and Lady Vestey and we are delighted they are opening up the gardens to support us.  This year we have an exclusive recipe available in the event programme from Keith Wynne, Head Chef at Stowell Park”.

A selection of homemade refreshments will be on offer.   Proceeds of the open garden will be put towards the work the charity do to support local cancer patients and that of dementia. For more information contact the fundraising team on or 01242 535922. Follow Cobalt on Twitter @cobaltfr or like @CobaltSupporters on Facebook.

Stowell Park, Yanworth, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL54 3LE. Assistance dogs only.


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