New Forest garden reopens for centenary year
Furzey Gardens in Minstead has re-opened for its centenary year.
The tranquil gardens and tea rooms will be open daily to all for a year of events and celebration to mark 100 years since the gardens were first planted.
In the reopened gardens, children will be able to follow a new trail to help a 1920s plant hunter track down his missing equipment around the grounds. There is also the ever-popular fairy door trail of over 40 doors to discover hidden around the woodland garden.
Visitors will be able to enjoy daffodils, crocus, camellias and snowdrops as they bring colour to the garden after the winter months.
The tea rooms have been spruced up and reopened inside fully for the first time in two years after the Covid restrictions. Light lunches, homemade cake and hot drinks are on offer.
Furzey Gardens is in the heart of the New Forest and supports people with learning disabilities to maintain the gardens and raise plants in the nursery.
The gardens are owned by Minstead Trust, a charity that supports more than 220 people with learning disabilities across Hampshire.
Events and initiatives planned in the coming months for the centenary year include:
- A landmark art installation in the 16th century cottage
- A gardening festival on 14th and 15th of May and Open Nursery week
- Outdoor performances in the summer, include classic plays, family shows and music
- A video history project will capture the memories of key figures in the garden’s past for visitors to discover
- A Special Years fundraising appeal to raise £500,000 to secure a thriving future for the gardens.
The centenary year will aim to tell the pioneering story of the gardens – from the intrepid plant hunters who filled the gardens with rare species to its more modern history as a place of support and education for people with learning disabilities.
It will also recognise what a special place the gardens are for the physical and mental health of visitors, volunteers and people with learning disabilities. Initiatives will help people find new ways to appreciate the peace and tranquility of Furzey as a place to relax with family and friends.
The ‘Special Years’ fundraising campaign is aiming to raise £500,000. Lovers of Furzey Gardens will be able to donate towards a special year in the garden’s history, leaving their own memories to be added to a commemorative online wall.
To find out more or make a donation to support the centenary visit www.minsteadtrust.org.uk/furzey-centenary