Glorious gardens are blooming in Horncastle

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It was one of the best kept secrets in Horncastle but now hundreds of people know all about the beautiful gardens at the Manor House.

Owners Marilyn and Michael Hieatt threw open the gates for the first time as part of the National Gardens Scheme (NGS).

It proved a worthwhile event, attracting almost 200 visitors and raising more than £450 towards the nine charities supported by the scheme, including Macmillan Nurses.

Mr Hieatt said they were delighted with the success of the event.

They plan to take part in the scheme again next year.

He added the time of the opening was perfect, with the garden looking at its very best in spring

He said: “The weather could not have been better, with blue skies and warm sunshine drawing out a wide range of spring flowers.

“The daffodils were striking and primulas and primroses were also abundant and colourful, along with a large number of other spring flowers.”

The garden, spreading over 1.75 acres, presents different aspects around each corner, with many trees and shrubs bursting into bloom.

Visitors particularly enjoyed the entrance which took them down a path bordered with flower beds on either side, leading to a small gate to the old tennis lawn.

Another feature was an orchard with more banks of daffodils and then to the River Bain with views of the old waterside buildings - and new restaurants on the far bank.

Apart from the flowers - and trimmed lawns - there was a bonus for visitors.

Tucked away in a quiet hollow was a Medieval well, surrounded by remnants of the town’s 3rd or 4th century Roman wall, a scheduled ancient monument. The wall and well are surrounded by a mass of mauve comfrey.

While the gardens were open, tea , coffee and a superb range of homemade cakes were served to over 120 people in St Mary’s Church across Manor House Street.

Many visitors took the chance to look around the ancient 12th Century church and a number pledged to return next spring.