English Bluebells

Samantha PillingThe Gardens


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


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


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

The fairytale toadstool: Amanita muscaria

Samantha PillingThe Gardens

Toadstools and mushrooms are a common sight in the UK. Whether you’re talking about the Victorian era or today, there are two instantly recognisable descriptions; one is that of the closed cup mushroom – and the other is the Amanita muscaria toadstool. You could be forgiven though, for not recognising it from its official name but, if I told you it was red with … Read More

How and where to spot Muntjac Deer in Harrow

Samantha PillingThe Gardens

Image used under license from Shutterstock.com

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