With a bushel of activities for the whole family to enjoy, Apple Day at Houghton Lodge Gardens near Stockbridge is not to be missed.
On Sunday 25th September, join Mr. Chris Bird, M.Hort (RHS) of Sparsholt College when he returns with some of his colleagues and former students for a day of historic apple wisdom! There will be plenty of opportunities to ‘ask the experts’ on fruit tree growing, cultivating and pruning along with the chance to view and taste the many varieties.
Hampshire storyteller, Michael O’Leary will return to entertain visitors with his engaging and immersive folk stories from Hampshire.
Michael has written several books of tales from Hampshire and Sussex, and in ‘Hampshire Folk Tales for Children’ he tells of his terrible experience at the hands (branches) of the Apple Tree Man – from a time when he worked in Hampshire’s Meon Valley. Mike’s unique storytelling is always fun as he captures the imaginations of anyone lucky enough to hear them!
Children can also follow clues around the garden on the ‘‘Apple Trail’ to help solve the stolen golden apple mystery. Could it be the alpacas, the sheep or is someone else lurking in the gardens?
Apples will also feature on the tearoom menu with Honesty at Houghton Lodge Gardens serving delicious apple cake, apple tray bake and apple & cinnamon muffins. Light refreshments will be available throughout the day.
As well as these exciting activities, visitors will also be able to wander round the gardens to see over 32 varieties of apple trees, as well as pear, plum, fig and kiwi trees in the kitchen garden and the great espalier pear tree with a span of over fifty feet – and named as Britains widest pear tree and Champion Tree.
There’s also the woodland grotto, Long Border, Peacock gardens with its topiary birds, walled kitchen garden and alpacas set within the water meadows with their riverside walk along the famous Test. The outside of the House itself, the best surviving example in England of an 18th century ‘Cottage Orné’, can also be admired from the gardens.
For those wanting to know more about Houghton Lodge, why not join one of the many House Tours that are taking place throughout the day. Tickets are £30 per person and can be booked online or on the day from the tearoom. The tours provide fascinating insight to the historic home of the Busk family. Discover more about the Cottage Ornée, see the beauty of the exquisite rooms, and listen to the stories and history that have been part of this house since it was built in 1793.
Gardens open at 10am and all things apple commence from 11.00 - 4.00pm. Storytelling with Michael will take place between those times. FREE ENTRY to The Orangery to speak to Sparsholt College and to enjoy the Art Exhibition and Tearoom. The normal entry price to the garden applies. Please book in advance via the website.
For more information about any of the above events and to book tickets visit www.houghtonlodge.co.uk