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Easter trails for children at Gardens of Easton Lodge near Great Dunmow in Essex

Trustee Jill Goldsmith previews the new season at the Gardens of Easton Lodge in Little Easton, near Great Dunmow

The full season gets under way at the Gardens of Easton Lodge in April, with the gardens open every Thursday for a lazy wander and exploration.

During the school Easter holidays, the gardens in Little Easton, near Great Dunmow, will be open on Thursday April 4 and 11 with a fun Easter trail for kids and the gardens in an array of spring colours.

The Gardens of Easton Lodge
The Gardens of Easton Lodge

The many historic varieties of daffodils in the Lime Wood have trumpets from white, through yellow to brilliant orange, and different mixes too. More recent varieties will be opening as the historic ones go over and the tulips will be coming into their own around the Italian Garden.

On Thursdays, the gardens are open from 11am to 3pm (last entry 2pm) and hot and cold drinks and homemade cakes are available. The archive room is open for visitors who want to learn the stories of the gardens: the Countess of Warwick, Harold Peto, who redesigned the gardens for her, the gardeners and the airmen and women who cherished them for repose in the Second World War.

The first Sunday Open Day is on April 21 when we will celebrate the blossom in the gardens as part of National Blossom week.

The Gardens of Easton Lodge
The Gardens of Easton Lodge

The blossom season in the walled kitchen garden runs from March through to May, starting with the beautiful pink blossom of the peaches and nectarines and the white apricot against the walls and then moving onto plums and cherries.

For the Open Day, we should have blossom on the local varieties of apple trees and our unique Easton Countess. Elsewhere in the gardens there should be the vivid pinks of ornamental cherry blossom and hawthorn.

Other flowers around the gardens will also provide a feast for the senses: vivid colours from the imperial fritillaries and the bright greens of spring leaves; scent from the first roses and perhaps some early bluebells; and the sound of the bumblebees and honey bees out and about collecting pollen.

We will have blossom activities for children, including a fun trail and crafts, local duo Karen and Tony will be singing folk and acoustic songs and there will be plant, craft and other local information stalls.

The Gardens of Easton Lodge
The Gardens of Easton Lodge

The trust’s volunteers will be providing refreshments including hot and cold drinks, bacon, cheese and hummus rolls and a lovely selection of homemade cakes. Dogs on leads are welcome.

On Sunday April 21 the gardens open at 11am - last entry 4pm - and close at 5pm. Tickets can be purchased in advance from www.eastonlodge.co.uk or www.Trybooking.com.

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