Join us for a full weekend of horticulture and creativity as we host our first event dedicated to the Marchmont gardens. Our Head Gardener Toby Loveday will guide you through the history of the gardens and his plans for the future, along with offering tips and insights into his practice. Joining us for the weekend will be two special guests; photographer Andrea Jones who will host a garden photography masterclass, and Beechgrove Garden's George Anderson who will share stories from his career on 'Two Sides of the Lens'.
The weekend will also include a private tour of Marchmont House with Curator, Francis Raeymaekers and a chance to stay in one of our beautifully restored bedrooms.
The gardens play an integral part in the history of Marchmont and have been continually evolving over many decades. During its peak in the late 19th and early 20th century, the gardens would have contained beautifully manicured ornamental beds and borders along with productive areas within the walled garden, providing fruit and vegetables for the house.
However, as with many other similar gardens throughout the UK, they experienced a gradual decline during the years following the second world war, with many of the borders being grassed over to ease the burden of their maintenance.
On completion of the house’s restoration in 2018, a plan was put in place to breathe new life into the gardens, with the hope that they could once again be a beautiful and productive part of the Marchmont experience.
We have planned a full weekend of green fingered treats which should delight experienced gardeners and enthusiastic early learners along with anyone who wants to immerse themselves into the world of plants in a beautiful historical setting.
3:30pm to 4:00pm - Arrivals
4:15pm - Tea, coffee and homemade cake in the guest dining room
5:00pm - Tour of Marchmont House
6:30pm - Drinks and canapés in the Sunken Garden
7:00pm - Presentation by Andrea Jones 'A World of Gardens' including gardens Andrea has photographed around the globe along with her Scottish favourites
8:00pm - Dinner in our Old Kitchen Gallery prepared by our House Chef
5:00am - Early bird photography session with tea and coffee in our Walled Garden
8:30am - A full Marchmont cooked breakfast in the Old Kitchen Gallery
9:30am - Back to the gardens to try some close up photography in the Glasshouses
11:00am - Tour of the Marchmont Gardens with Head Gardener Toby Loveday
1:00pm - Seasonal buffet lunch in our Old Kitchen Gallery
2:00pm - relax in your room or explore more in the gardens with the garden team on hand to answer any questions
4:30pm - Review of guest photo images and Q&A with Andrea Jones, tea and shortbread will be served
5:30pm - free time to relax and enjoy your surroundings
7:00pm - Champagne in the Saloon followed by dinner in our Old Kitchen Gallery
9:00pm - After Dinner talk by George Anderson 'Two Sides of the Lens - my life in the Beechgrove Garden'
9:00am - A full Marchmont breakfast
10:00am - Either explore the gardens again, practice some more photography or join our Gamekeeper Bob Smith for a circular walk on the estate discussing our approach to conservation and sustainability
12:45 - A Sunday roast
2:00pm - Departures
We are delighted to have George Anderson and Andrea Jones with us for the weekend along with our host, Head Gardener Toby Loveday.
Toby has worked in professional horticulture for 26 years. After gaining a Diploma in Horticulture at SAC in Ayrshire, Toby went on to secure a place at the NTS’ horticultural training facility at Threave Gardens in Dumfriesshire. This led to 16 year’s service working for the National trust for Scotland in 3 different gardens in his native Aberdeenshire.
From here he moved with his family to take up the Job as Head Gardener for the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland at their private residence in the Scottish Borders.
Toby started as Head Gardener at Marchmont House in 2021 and has spent the last 2 years putting together a talented team of gardeners and creating a plan to shape the next chapter of the gardens history.
Raised in the south of England by her Mother who loved gardens and Father who loved photography, Andrea became fascinated and inspired by naturally occurring art forms. She studied art at Bournemouth followed by photography at Salisbury before entering the commercial world.
"Trees and plants each have their own character. Many change their clothes depending on the season, some disappear into the ground when the climate changes. Others appear in the warmth of the early morning light, stun me with their beauty and then drop their petals before my eyes. Some refuse to wake up until late and only consent photography in the full sun. I love spending hours getting to know their intimate secrets through my camera lens."
Buying and selling Leicas in the 80s, studio work for advertising, assisting a leading interiors photographer, working with Dr Jane Goodall in Africa on wildlife projects and full circle to photographing gardens in Dorset in the 90s all contributed to a diverse range of photographic skills she could not have predicted. A spell with fine art photographer Bruce Rae in London revived her love of darkroom skills and sharpened her attention to the subtleties of light.
Now based in Scotland, Andrea exhibits her work internationally, and has had several successful solo exhibitions in both the United Kingdom and the United States.
Born into a family of keen gardeners and his Father and Uncle both being Market Gardeners its no surprise when George left School he became a Gardeners' Boy.in 1966 he became the Head of School of Horticulture at The Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh he remained in this role for nearly 38 years before retiring in 2004.
"Gardening came down in the genes. My parents, aunts and uncle were all keen gardeners and my father and an uncle were both market gardeners. I left school little knowing what I would like to do and while I thought that I would like to become a shepherd, I took a job as a Gardener’s Boy. The rest, as they say, is history and after 50+ years I have to say I think that I may have made the right choice."
George became a presenter on Beechgrove in 2005 or Beechgrove Garden as it was known then.He joined Jim McColl, Carole Baxter, Lesley Watson and Carol Spray. He enjoys salmon and trout fishing and grows and shows daffodils.
Our normal cancellation period is 7 days in advance.
We will happily offer a refund or a credit for a later date, please do get in touch.
Should we cancel the event for any reason you will receive a complete refund.
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