Ellen Willmott’s Garden
When I was a child we did not do the shopping by car but travelled to the town by bus, there was post war rationing and all we needed on our twice weekly shopping trips was two large shopping bags for the extended family of seven. We would climb up the stairs to the top deck and to the front seats to get the best view. In the spring the best view was Miss Willmott’s Garden, this was a private estate she had inherited from her father, and the view everyone wanted to see was the field at the edge of the road which in spring was a carpet of yellow and purple crocus.
The family had been very wealthy but Ellen’s passion had been gardening, she travelled the world seeking out rare and exotic plants many of which are still found at Warley Place, and if you ever look at a plant catalogue you will find many plants have the suffix Willmotti and their discovery is attributed to Ellen. How ever after her father’s death she spent so lavishly on the garden working teams of gardeners to make it exactly how she wanted it, the gorge was excavated to make into an alpine garden, and the rocks were imported from Yorkshire. With the decline of the money and her health the garden fell into disrepair and with her death in 1934the neglected garden rapidly became overgrown and reverted to woodland.
Warley place is now leased to The Essex Naturalist Trust who have carried out extensive refurbishment, there are thousands of daffodil bulbs planted and are a spectacular site as you can see from these pictures taken at the beginning of April last year. On our visit this year it was the time for the snowdrops and other spring flowers This is a quiet undisturbed garden and on our visit half way through the children’s half term we were the only visitors there.
Here is the website I hope if you are ever this way in spring you will visit this very peaceful garden, let me know you are coming and I wil show you around?
Lots more photos in the album