Elizabeth Gaskell's House Wins Britain in Bloom Award
Elizabeth Gaskell’s House garden in Ardwick has won a prestigious Silver Gilt award in this year’s RHS Britain in Bloom competition within the Small Visitor Attraction category.
The restored garden at the home of Victorian writer Elizabeth Gaskell, just one mile from Manchester City centre, is maintained by a dedicated group of volunteers. It has been planted to show the sort of garden that the Gaskells enjoyed with the choice of plants being informed by references in Elizabeth’s letters and novels, as well as by Victorian garden history.
The current layout is based on a detailed map of Manchester in 1850 which shows the paths and planting areas. The purpose of the garden at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House has always been to give as much enjoyment today as it did in Elizabeth’s time.
Ann Hodges, Volunteer Gardener at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House;
“When the Manchester Historic Buildings Trust acquired Elizabeth Gaskell’s House in 2004, the garden was a shadow of its former glory having suffered many years of neglect, so it is with great pleasure that we have been awarded a Silver Gilt award in the very first year of entering this national competition.”
Frank Galvin, Chair of Trustees for Manchester Historic Buildings Trust;
“In this inner-city suburb, the garden provides a splash of colour and has been well received and appreciated by the community as they walk past or through, as well as by the local workforce.
Visitors to the House also appreciate the tranquillity and colour which complements their enjoyment of the interiors.
Not only do visitors and local residents enjoy and use the garden but since 2017 the garden is also used by wedding couples for their photographs.”
Despite this win, the volunteer gardening team are already looking to the future as discussions have commenced regarding the rebuilding of Elizabeth’s conservatory outside the Drawing room which would provide additional enjoyment of the garden for visitors and wedding parties.