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A day in the life of: A garden guide.

February 21, 2015

Author: Alan Parfitt (Volunteer garden guide)

Alan Parfitt (Volunteer garden guide.)

Alan Parfitt

It is well into winter now and the hustle and bustle of gentler seasons is a distant memory. The number of visitors we get varies much with the weather. On a winter’s day when its cold, windy and overcast, visitors often enjoy a brisk walk to the woods followed by the discovery of the house, shop or cafe; a few hardy souls do join us occasionally for garden tours even in this weather.  For the most part I wonder lonely as a garden guide on our quieter days.

There is always plenty to do in between conducting tours. I walk the estate making sure our visitors feel welcome, answering questions, helping lost souls struggling with a map, watching out for possible problems, checking the chickens and ensuring any children playing with the toys within the walled garden and our Hidden Realm are enjoying their time with us.

Firecrest (Regulus ignicapillus) searching for food amongst the rose bushes.

Firecrest (Regulus ignicapillus) searching for food amongst the rose bushes. A rare visitor indeed to The Vyne. Copyright James Meikle.

The gardens and lakes have obvious charms when the sun is shining. However even on a cold day I take in the beauty of the bare trees and shrubs with their wonderful architecture exposed, standing about the green sward of the grounds. The weeping willows, leafless now, drape more delicately down to the water round the lake; the mighty cypresses stand proud in their green mantle either side of the north lawn.
It is magical to see the gardens gradually change throughout the seasons and at this time, rain or shine, the snowdrops, the first awakening of the year, excite us with their promise of the spring. Visitors come to stretch their legs and embrace the beauty of the gardens. Young mums bring their little charges to run, chat, play and have adventure with our ride-on toys. Young and old hold hands as they wander through The Vyne, a special and peaceful place to enjoy for everyone.

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