De Thame wow factor to help Kelmarsh


Kelmarsh Hall in Northants is hoping last Monday's coverage on BBC2's Great British Garden Revival will bump up its profile and boost visitor numbers.

Rachel de Thame reported from the red-walled kitchen garden, arranging Dahlias, snapdragon, Cleome and dill in a cut-flower arrangement vibrant enough without "over egging the pudding".

General manager of the house and grade II* listed gardens Lesley Denton said: "The show was a little early in the season – we don't open until Easter – but we hope people remember to visit us."

When Joe Swift and Gardeners' World visited Kelmarsh in 2011 visitor numbers shot up by 41% for a couple of months after the show, said Denton.

"We would like to make more of our Dahlias and hope the show will help. We have some wonderful, unusual cultivars and usually close the garden at the end of September.

"But this year the flowers were still strong at the end of October so we may stay open a little longer. Our thriving walled kitchen garden is maintained by great volunteers led by Fiona Alexander."

Denton added: "Rachel de Thame was really relaxed and pleasant and her team were both charming and knowlegable on plants."

The garden is also noted for a 30m-long border and double border, snake's head fritillaries, peonies and sweet peas.

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