We've been very busy over the last few weeks, getting ready for re-opening on 10th January. Regular visitors will notice lots of little changes which are all part of our plans to restore the Garden and improve our facilities.
As well as our usual programme of winter maintenance, which includes repairs to paths and buildings, we've started a lengthy programme of tree works with the help of professional tree surgeons. We've been busy painting and cleaning, and have smartened up the drive and car park. Regular visitors will hopefully particularly enjoy our new hand dryers! Happening this week is the construction of the final phase of our rustic play area. Renamed the Hidden Hollow, there is already more homemade play equipment in situ for climbing, balancing and stretching, as well as our brand new Panpipe building, which will house a new slide in due course.
Elsewhere in the Garden, the restoration of the Exedra Garden is well under way, with the beds now cleared of old planting, and the edging boards repaired and replaced. Repairs to the ornamental fences are under way and backstage, there are literally hundreds of plants being propagated. By the time next June comes around, we should have restored this horticultural high point of the Garden to its 1740s splendour.
Our programme of events for 2018 is coming together very nicely, including return visits by our favourite outdoor theatre companies, including the Handlebards performing Shakespeare on the Bowling Green.
We're preparing to move our shop and welcome desk to the Orangery for the busy snowdrops period - so there'll be a limited retail offer for the next couple of weeks whilst we restock and reorganise. We've new suppliers lined up and lots of stock due to be ordered, so there's plenty to look forward to!