Wiltshire Publications

Chinese garden uncovers its secrets

This entry was posted on Tuesday, April 11th, 2017 at 11:47 am.

Garden lovers are in for a rare treat next month when they get to hear about the secrets of a Chinese garden hidden away on the edge of Westbury.

Colin Little, who, with his wife Penny Stirling, owns the unique Chinese garden at Beggars Knoll, will be explaining how it was designed and its history at a talk staged by the Friends of Victoria Gardens on Friday 28th April.

Colin came up with the idea of creating the garden after seeing a classical Chinese garden on a visit to Vancouver.

“It was amazing and had pavilions, ponds, studio and mosaics. I decided I wanted one of these!” said Colin. He and Penny started creating the garden in 2000.

“Initially we planned a series of garden rooms but then gradually it all became Chinese,” explained Colin, who has visited China eight times to check the authenticity of the gardens he has created.

The one acre garden is now divided up into a series of Chinese rooms, filled with colourful plantings set against a backdrop of Chinese pavilions, gateways, statues and dragons. Intricate Chinese mosaic pavements wind around ponds and rocks and there are rare Chinese shrubs, mature trees and flowers in the borders.

The garden, believed to be the only one of its kind in Britain, is set on the steep chalk hillside with a backdrop of beech woods. It has earned thousands of pounds for charities such as Macmillan and Marie Curie through regular openings as part of the National Gardens Scheme. Tours are now by arrangement only, but information can be found on the NGS website.

Colin’s talk will be held at the church hall, off All Saints churchyard in Westbury. It starts at 7.30pm with doors opening at 7pm.

Ticket prices are £5 and include a glass of wine. Book by calling 01373 824789 or 01373 825039, or by emailing fvgwestbury@yahoo.co.uk.

The talk is one of several events organised by the Friends of Victoria Gardens, volunteers who now maintain and managed the historic walled garden off All Saints churchyard.