Sweet treat for the senses at historic walled garden

Lincolnshire’s very own “lost gardens”, celebrating 20 years of restoration this year, will be a blaze of colour and bursting with scent this month as sweet pea season arrives.

From dereliction to a nationally important garden, the revival of the 450-year-old Easton Walled Gardens, near Grantham, is a story of determination and survival, and among many treats for visitors over recent years has been its famed summer display of sweet peas.

In late June, these unique flowers come into bloom offering a treat for the senses from the visual delights of perfect blooms in stripes, bi-colours, picotee, light pastels and deep velvet tones, to the sweet smells that give the flower its scientific name, Lathyrus odoratus.

For 2021, the historic restored gardens starts its sweet pea season on Wednesday 23 June, with displays usually lasting about three weeks.

At Easton, the dazzling colour and fragrance come from over 50 sweet pea varieties grown there, from highly scented sweet peas, heritage and antique sweet peas to modern varieties and new trials.

Owned by the Cholmeley family for over 400 years, the original Tudor styled gardens had become so admired by the 1900s that they even drew praise from future US President Franklin D Roosevelt, who described the gardens as ‘a dream of Nirvana…’.

But the gardens were eventually abandoned to nature for 50 years, until in 2001 Ursula Cholmeley began restoring them to their former historical importance, but with contemporary twists.

The gardens are open Wednesdays – Sundays, 11am- 4pm, with admission costing £8 for adults and £4 children.

For more information about the gardens see www.visiteaston.co.uk

For more details about visiting Lincolnshire: www.visitlincolnshire.com

Photos: Fred Cholmeley

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