In the Walled Kitchen Garden the ambitious Orchard House project is getting under way thanks to Howard Styles' gift of £20,000 together with some other kind donations. The aim is to get sufficient of the eastern end constructed to show what an excellent building it once was. This will tend to inspire further donations as previous projects have shown. The eastern third is, in a sense, a self-contained glasshouse as there is an internal glass partition separating it from the rest of the Orchard House.
So far the external walls have been dismantled where necessary and extensively rebuilt with the same bricks. All the joinery work for this eastern section has been machined and delivered to the mansion where it will be primed and painted before erection.
Just inside the eastern entry door to the Walled Kitchen Garden, two volunteers have constructed two brick paths (see picture below). This work adds to the general level of organisation within the garden.
In the lower gardens our recently retired trustee - Duncan Lowther - ploughs on, day after day through rain and storms, to restore the pleached lime tree walk and its associated path and surroundings - as well as the adjacent north/south path. One of the excellent aspects of Copped Hall Gardens is the number of different historic features and the pleached Lime Walk is one of them
With all the rain we were concerned about another serious flooding episode in the sunken Rock Garden. It will be an expensive operation to insert a drain, so we hope the last year's flooding was a one-off. Fortunately, so far, only minor flooding has taken place. Fingers crossed.
Right up near the house, the loggia has been completed as far as we can go. We are four columns short, so it does not go all the way to the house. Nevertheless, its re-erection has made a significant improvement to the south front garden and will provide a sheltered entry poing and sitting area in the summer months.
We remain very grateful to the Essex Heritage Trust for their grant of £10,000 towards this project. As a way of saying thank you, we made Copped Hall available for their AGM on 5 September last year. A large number of key people turned up for this AGM and it was a great success. Some of us gave tours.
A newly constructed path just inside the Walled Kitchen Garden
The loggia in the South Front GardenPhotos: Peter Gamble
Progress report September 2013
Progress report March 2013
Progress report September 2012
Progress report June 2012
Progress report September 2011