Quex Gardens is a verdant space with sweeping lawns, woodland, flower borders and a walled garden. Our Head Gardener, Sue Harris has a vision for the garden. Supported by The Powell-Cotton Trust, the gardens will evolve to become a place that is safe and enjoyable for people of all ages and needs. We will work with our local friends and partners to make space for diversifying our volunteer team and to develop unique garden experiences such as ‘ground to table’ cooking and feasting.
The start of this new era for Quex Gardens will be the restoration of the Winter Garden. You may have noticed it, tucked back from the path at the end of the woodland walk. It is one of a range of glass houses that make up the historic walled garden at Quex House. An important feature of the garden, it was installed at a time when the family wanted to create a space in which they could house frost-sensitive plants and access their orchid collection.
In the 1930’s the walled garden was run as a commercial market garden and the expanding museum had removed a large conservatory to allow for further galleries to be built. It is an unusual structure, mainly as it was moved and re-built. It does not have the same historic function as the other glasshouses, namely the vine houses, cucumber pit and orchid house, and was a significant addition involving removing the corner wall of the walled garden and replacing the lean-to glass which had previously been there. As with other alterations to the garden, the addition of this large ‘show’ glasshouse reflected the changing needs of the family. It was a practical change too, accessible directly from the pleasure grounds without the need to negotiate the vineries and orchids.
Work has now begun to repair and restore the structure of this glass house. When complete it will be safe, secure, heated and visually stunning. There will be opportunities for visitors to enjoy the space through events and engagement activities as well as private hire for the general public and businesses.
We can’t wait to welcome you to the Winter Garden but in the meantime, stay informed about this project through our blog and social media channels.