How and where to spot Muntjac Deer in Harrow

Samantha PillingThe Gardens

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What are Muntjac Deer? Muntjac deer, also known as Mastreani deer and barking deer, (given their repeated loud bark) are exotic looking deer, that can grow up to 52cm at the shoulder and weigh up to 16kg. You can often hear the male buck deer giving a loud bark, the females and kids however, tend to let out squeaks. When … Read More

Victorian Orchards

Samantha PillingThe Gardens


Fruit growing rose in popularity during the 1870s and became an important pastime of the Victorians. No longer was fruit growing limited to farmers, looking to produce Perry and cider, as a form of payment to their labourers, the wealthier Victorians created orchards on their estates too. These comprises of not just apples and pears, but also stone fruits too, … Read More

Flowers and plants that attract bees

Samantha PillingThe Gardens


If you want to attract bees into your garden, you don’t have to turn the whole garden into a mass of pollen-producing flowers (although that would look amazing!). You can easily help the bees in your area, by ensuring you have pollen and nectar rich plants for the different seasons. If you have plenty of room, you could also section … Read More

British Bees

Samantha PillingThe Gardens

British Bees

There are approximately 250 species of bee in the UK and they can be broken down into two groups – the social bee and the solitary bee. Here’s an overview of each. Social bees There are only 24 species of social bee in the UK. The most talked about are the honey and bumble bee, but the most common is … Read More

The Victorian sunken garden

Samantha PillingHistory, The Gardens

Rose Basket

Sir William Gilbert added the sunken rose garden at Grim’s Dyke in the late 19th Century. Sunken rose gardens became very popular in the Victorian area, growing in popularity throughout the Edwardian period of the early 1900s. It could be that Sir William added in this delightful secluded area, as he knew how much Lady Gilbert loved gardening – and … Read More

Giant Rhubarb (Gunnera Manicata)

Samantha PillingThe Gardens

Giant Rhubarb (Gunnera Manicata)

Here in the grounds of Grim’s Dyke, we have an amazing specimen plant that can grow up to 2.5 metres tall, with a spread of up to 4 metres. Commonly known as the Giant Rhubarb, this plant adorned many a stately garden – and is it any wonder? This prehistoric-looking plant cuts and imposing figure in any large garden, with … Read More

The Victorian Apiary

Samantha PillingHistory, The Gardens

victorian apiary

One of the more unusual features of any well-to-do Victorian estate was an apiary, and Grim’s Dyke was no exception. W.S. and Lady Gilbert had (along with a vinery, farms and an orchard), an apiary at Grim’s Dyke – but what is an Apiary and why was it so popular? What is an Apiary? An apiary is a bee yard … Read More

Grim’s Dyke: A house of many influences

Samantha PillingHistory, The Gardens

Grims Dyke

Built in 1870, Grims Dyke was designed by Richard Norman Shaw. Shaw was renowned for blending old and new styles of architecture and Grims Dyke was a testament to this. The design and subsequent build of Grims Dyke, successfully proved his theory that old English architecture was compatible with modern ideas of comfort and style. Grims Dyke was created in … Read More

Bring your Little Ones on a Magical Adventure

Samantha PillingEntertainment, The Gardens

magical adventure

Bring your Little Ones to Grim’s Dyke for a spellbinding adventure Join Claudia for a magical family storywalk around the grounds of Grims Dyke hotel and gardens on Bank Holiday Monday May 30th at 10.30 am. Stopping at different features in the grounds, local storyteller, Claudia Mernick will entertain both children and adults with tales of fairies, giants, trolls, animals, and … Read More

Plant your own herb garden

Samantha PillingLatest News, The Gardens

herb garden

Man has been using herbs, in the kitchen and for health-related reasons, for as long as history has been recorded. The Victorians in particular, loved to use herbs and flowers in their everyday lives – and no Victorian home was complete, without its own herb garden. Herbs such as Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme were the staple herbs of any Victorian kitchen, as is the case … Read More