Pressing flowers – a quintessential Victorian pastime

Samantha PillingHistory, The Gardens

Flower Pressing

The Victorians loved flowers! Not only did fresh flowers adorn their homes, flowers were also depicted in paintings, carvings, embroidery and clothing. Pressed flowers were a simple art form that can easily be traced back to ancient Egypt. In the 1500’s Oshibana (the art of pressing flowers in a way to create a whole picture) was meticulous and skilled – … Read More

Top 10 Victorian flowers

Samantha PillingHistory, The Gardens

Bouquet of spring flowers in basket

The Victorians loved flowers. Not only did they use them to adorn their homes, they were also used to scent their toiletries and clothes, flowers also had hidden symbolism too. Many a Victorian sweetheart could send unwritten wording through their choice of floral bouquet.   Here’s the top flowers of choice for the Victorians, along with what message they portrayed.  #1: The … Read More

10 Herbs for every Victorian Herb garden

Samantha PillingHistory, The Gardens

10 Herbs for every Victorian Herb garden

No Victorian garden was complete, without some herbs – and spring was the perfect time to get them started. Not only were they used in the Victorian kitchen, they were used to help keep the home clean and fresh smelling. Herbs were also used for their medicinal properties, along with their cosmetic value too – with the essential oils also being … Read More

English Bluebells

Samantha PillingThe Gardens

Bluebells

These beautiful woodland plants can be seen throughout any wooded area in the UK, including the woods at Grim’s Dyke. Bluebells need no introduction; they’re instantly recognisable and loved by many. Here’s why we love the Bluebell. #1: Bluebells can spread rapidly! They seed freely and can live in the garden compost easily too. It is said that the UK … Read More

10 facts about Rhododendrons

Samantha PillingThe Gardens

Rhodedendron

Rhododendrons make for a splendid display in any formal garden. These evergreen and deciduous trees and shrubs flower between late winter through to early summer, granting us a beautiful backdrop of large, delicate, exotic-looking flowers. Not only did Lady Gilbert love them, here’s 10 reasons why we do too! #1: Planting Rhododendrons takes some planning Lady Gilbert planted her Rhododendrons … Read More

The perennial Allium

Samantha PillingHistory, The Gardens

The perennial Allium

Lady Lucy Gilbert loved her flowers. Having planted the formal garden at Grim’s Dyke, along with the sunken rose garden, she ensured there were always beautiful and colourful flowers to break up the seasons. Dotted amongst the roses in the sunken garden, Lady Gilbert had planted both Geraniums and Alliums. The Allium family Alliums are part of the large Amaryllidaceae … Read More

Ten simple Organic Gardening tips

Samantha PillingThe Gardens

Organic Gardening

Here at Grim’s Dyke we’re big advocates of organic gardening. Not only does it help us grow produce to contribute to some of the amazing dishes in our restaurant, it’s also great for the environment. If you’re looking to go organic, here’s our top ten tips to help make your organic gardening easier. #1: Water in the morning This give … Read More

Snowdrops – 10 surprising facts about these dainty little flowers

Samantha PillingThe Gardens

Snowdrops - 10 Surprising Facts

One of the first flowers of the new year, the snowdrop is one our most endearing flowers. Not only does it remind us that spring is just around the corner, this delicate bell-shaped flower, has an interesting background. Here’s 10 things you didn’t know about the snowdrop. #1: It’s Greek name ‘Galanthus’, translates as the ‘milk flower’! Known by several … Read More

Giant Redwood trees, Victorians and The Grim’s Dyke

Samantha PillingThe Gardens

Redwoods

Wander around the formal gardens at Grim’s Dyke and you’ll be surrounded by the breath-taking beauty of nature. Lady Gilbert planted a stunning array of flowers and plants, with the most noticeable being several Redwood trees, now over 100 years old. As with any Victorian gardener with status, Lady Gilbert would have loved exotic plants – and would have relished … Read More

10 Facts about the Green woodpecker

Samantha PillingThe Gardens

Green Woodpecker

There are three woodpeckers that breed in Britain – the Green woodpecker, the Greater woodpecker and the Lesser Spotted Woodpecker. The Green woodpecker is the largest of the three. Here are ten interesting facts about these colourful birds. #1: The scientific name for a Green woodpecker is Picus viridis The Green woodpecker is from the Picidae family of birds and … Read More