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Pick up a pumpkin at Gardens of Easton Lodge's last event of the year

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Pumpkins and squashes will be on sale when the Gardens of Easton Lodge trustees host their final open day of the year.

The event on Sunday (October 11) – when sunny intervals are forecast – will also feature a plant stall selling spring bulbs, the trust's popular jam and jelly tombola and refreshments from Daisy's kiosk.

Visitors will be able to meet a woodturner and a willow weaver, coppicers and representatives of Essex Wildlife Trust and the Woodland Trust. There is also an autumn trail for children.

Pumpkins at Easton Lodge (42479306)
Pumpkins at Easton Lodge (42479306)

Lesley Gamblin, a new trustee and assistant county organiser of the National Garden Scheme, said: "The gardens are such a special place, with a wealth of history. I'm loving spending more time in them and am really inspired by the hard work and enthusiasm of the volunteers.

"I'm looking forward to meeting more visitors too so that their views can feed into the winter planning we have ahead of us."

The gardens, at Little Easton near Great Dunmow, are Historic England grade II listed. Their owner in the Victorian and Edwardian eras, the Countess of Warwick, commissioned renowned designer Harold Peto to do a makeover of the grounds and he introduced the sunken Italian garden, Japanese gardens and the Treehouse.

Autumn at Easton Lodge (42479308)
Autumn at Easton Lodge (42479308)

The trust was established in 2002 to restore the site and open it to the public.

During October, autumn flowers attract the last bees and butterflies of the year, and the trees in the Glade begin to turn vibrant red and yellow. Peto's Italian garden shelters from cold winds and thrives still, with Michaelmas daisies, dahlias and roses beckoning visitors.

The sun retains its warmth in the walled kitchen garden, too, ripening the seasonal fruits: a few bonus autumn raspberries and grapes, quince, medlar and cape gooseberries.

Tickets are available through Eventbrite. Admission for visitors who have not pre-booked will be possible only after 2pm and subject to car parking availability.

Entrance is £4.50 (plus booking fee) for adults. Children under 16 and well-behaved dogs on leads get in free. The gardens are open from 11am to 5pm with last entry at 4pm.

For more information see www.eastonlodge.co.uk .

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