September Garden Open Weekend

The school holidays are charging on at a pace and soon we will be open again. We decided to add another date this year and as September can be a good month here, we thought we would strike early. There might not be loads of autumn colour, but leaving it much later and we would no doubt be competing with the wind and the rain for it to be any fun.

The War of the Roses weekend was so brilliant that I hope if you weren’t able to get round much of the gardens then, what with all the canon fire and battles, then you might visit us in September.

Lots to see and do and buy! If you haven’t been for a while there are a couple of garden developments to catch up with too. (just don’t mention the bindweed)


War of the Roses weekend is nearly here

sir J SAvile 3

Learning about battle – The bill drill

I am so excited (and very nervous) that next weekend we host our first War of the Roses re-enactment here at Hornby Castle.

There is going to be so much stuff for everyone to see and join in with, weaponry demonstrations, dances and battles I can’t wait and our two children are a bit giddy with all that will be going on.

I have confirmed the ice cream van and hog roast so it is all systems go….keep checking back on the website as I will update it with information of timed events as I have them confirmed to me.

Canons in action

Canons in action


May opening gets ever closer


New planting in progress


New planting in progress

We are really beginning to work hard on the final push to get the gardens looking lovely for opening on the 16/17th May. The really exciting change is the Bamboo bed – (new names  for this area currently under discussion) The bamboo has mostly been dug out, with a bit of help from a digger, but the soil needed to be sifted thoroughly, by hand to make sure no root remains, this has taken a very long time and it is with much excitement that at the end of last week the bed was fully planted. So if you are reading this and have visited the gardens before you will definitely notice a huge change.

To me the garden looks so different and I am excited to hear the comments from new and previous visitors alike. All details of our open weekend are on our gardens page. 


Sunday Snowdrops – OPENING EARLY to beat the weather

Yellow snowdrops Today we had an amazing number of people through the gates – around 500! The weather isn’t looking so fabulous for tomorrow, but we will be open from 11-4 officially, but if you are here early we will have someone on the gate from 10am so you can try and beat the weather. Do call in if you are nearby.

Yellow Snowdrop

Snowdrop weekend – the gates are open

The sun is shining and the gates are open, so come and see us here at Hornby Castle Gardens today.
Snowdrops HornbyThe snowdrops are looking fabulous in the sunshine and you can bring the dog for a hearty walk. There is pottery to buy and plants for sale.

If you are interested in the history of the castle stop by for a historical talk in the castle drawing room at 12noon and for the keen horticulturalist, Ken Green our head gardener will be giving a talk in the walled garden at 2pm. Not to mention Wyn Abbot’s amazing pottery and ceramic sculpture, plus tea and cake!

We hope you can join us. (Please note apart from the drawing room, the castle itself is not open).

New Event – the Sir John Savile Household

Very exciting news here at Hornby, we are hosting the Sir John Savile Household on the 27 – 28 June 2015, they are a historical re-enactment society and they will be here for two days.

Come and experience life during the 15 century, Wars of the Roses.

See how Sir John’s men were trained in the arts of warfare – including the mighty English warbow, see his spearmen armed with the feared English Bill and marvel at his guns, the pinnacle of military technology!

The dances of the time will be performed by the household and join in if you wish. The camp will also have members of the group in full period dress so there will be chances to learn about the clothing, fashions and status.

We will be opening the gardens as usual and there will be refreshments on site, as well as a pottery and ceramic exhibition and historical talks in the castle drawing room.

Put the date in your diary and come along!


Happy New Year & Snowdrops!

Happy New Year from all of us here at Hornby Castle.

We are working hard to get the gardens ready for the Snowdrop weekend in February 21/22 2015. There is a lot of muck to move from the changes we are making to some of the main borders and this is taking time and some fair amount of back strain!

The first snowdrops are beginning to poke their heads through the ground. Always exciting to see the garden with the first bits of life in both the hellebores and the snowdrops and the odd primrose.

Do come and see us in February, there will be Wyn Abbot displaying her wonderful ceramics and tea and cakes in the walled garden. Talks as usual from Sue Bull on the history of the house and Ken Green giving his gardening talks too.

We are open from 11-4 and the admission is £4. Dogs allowed on leads.


If you are a member of a gardening group, historical society or even just a group of friends we can arrange special tours around the garden (please note garden only minimum 20 people). If you would like to know more or arrange a visit please get in touch through our contact pages. Ken Green our head gardener also visits a number of gardening groups and can be contacted through us.


An amazing summer and now autumn has arrived

New borders dug in to the main lawn

New borders dug in to the main lawn

After we shut our gates in May there has been a lot of hard work in the gardens.

We lost a tree next to the main lawn pond, so this has really opened up the area and we have to decide what to do with all the light and space. Ken and Mary have also been digging out and replanting the herbaceous border.

We have rather a lot of bindweed that needs attention so we are removing all of the plants from the border and using the opportunity (if you can call it that) to split many of the plants that have been in situ for a considerable time.

In order to find somewhere to plant all the contents we have dug two new borders in to the top of the main lawn raised bank areas, which face the herbaceous border. (A very uninspiring picture above!) We have also re-planted many of the shrubs in other borders around the garden as and when we can. Mary has found some fabulous unused spaces for some of the large hostas and we can’t wait to see what the effect will be in the spring.

Another major change is happening down at the main pond near the azalea walks, we currently have the diggers in. We drained the pond and helped by the dry weather we are now trying to remove some considerable build up of silt. It is an exciting time and hopefully will improve the quality of the pond for years to come.

We are now on leaf collection – final lawn cuts and hedge trimming and most importantly collecting conkers, thankfully there are a few last roses to keep the place looking a little jolly.



The month of May and our Garden open weekend

Pink Peony

Pink Peony in the herbaceous border

It seemed only a minute ago that we were closing the doors on a wonderful snowdrop weekend.

We had lots of visitors and the feedback we had was great. We are now gearing up to do it all again, but with the garden looking very different.

The pink peony shown in the picture has just popped out in the herbaceous border on the main lawn. They are so beautiful and there are lots of buds across all the peonies, so for the open weekend there should hopefully be a good display.

In fact there is so much in bloom I am constantly surprised and delighted as I walk around the garden.

We hope you come and see for yourself. The gardens are open on the 24th & 25th May 2014 from 10.30am until 4.30pm each day, entrance is £3.

Find out more about our Hornby Castle Garden Open Days.