A few months ago I wrote the Pomology post about the Elford Pippin apple and the rhubarb and grapes raised at Elford Hall gardens by Mr William Buck, gardener to the Hon FG Howard.
Although Elford Hall has been demolished, the gardener’s house, which would presumably have been home to Mr Buck in the early 1800s, still stands alongside the walled garden & its associated buildings. The Elford Hall Garden Project was set up to restore the garden, which had lain unused and overgrown for some years. Birmingham City Council own the land and after some negotiating, agreed to lease it to the group.
A week or so ago, I went up to the gardens to have a look. Despite it being early evening, I was given a wonderfully warm welcome by one of the project’s volunteers who then showed me around. The progress that has been made is fantastic. Some of the buildings have been restored already, such as the melon house and stables and there are plans to do the same for other buildings such as the vinery (where apparently a 15lb bunch of grapes was grown in 1823!) and the mushroom house. The garden was filled with flowers, fruit and vegetables – this latest generation of Elford gardeners would even give Mr Buck a run for his money!
I am looking at the history of Elford Hall in more depth, but for today, I’ll leave you with a couple of photographs and a recommendation that you take a trip over there to see this lovely place for yourself. If you do go soon, ask if you can try one of those little yellow plums, they’re delicious.