By Head Gardener Martin Gee
Lady Anne Cowdray and Lady Joan Bridgeman were sisters of the 6th Earl who grew up at Weston Park and their lives have been remembered in the creation of two new gardens of memory.
Following the death of Lady Anne in 2009, the Cowdray family made a financial gift to the Weston Park Foundation to establish a garden in her memory. As a keen gardener herself Lady Anne was probably better known for her stunning woodland garden “Broadleas” in Devizes, Wiltshire, where she turned 9 acres of neglected wilderness into one of the country’s horticultural gems featuring magnolias, camellias and rhododendrons.
We started work on the garden of memory in 2012 and it has now reached a level of maturity that makes it a beautiful place to walk amongst the flowering trees. We have recently added a new seating area that looks out over the formal gardens so visitors can relax with views out towards to the House.
Lady Anne had a sister, Lady Joan Bridgeman who died tragically in a horse riding accident in the 1930’s aged just 19. A cascade garden was created by the family in her memory in Temple Wood. Over the years the area has become overgrown so we have started work on restoring the garden, work has been carried out on the cascade itself, the pool has been dredged and water loving plants have been introduced. When established the garden will once again be a place of quiet reflection.