A season ticket is now available for 2014, offering unlimited access to the grounds and gardens for just £30 a year. Private tours of the gardens for groups of 15 or more are also open for bookings including an exclusive forum with Head Gardener Martin Duncan.
Updates to the gardens for the new season include an extension to the popular and unusual Stumpery, now stretching into the living willow arch area and featuring a stunning garden bursting with woodland plants. Four new Gothic archways, planted with beautiful Adélade D’Orléans roses, have also been commissioned to lead visitors through to the Rose Garden.
A new poppy display has been planted to commemorate 100 years since the start of the First World War. An area outside the 16th Century Fitzalan Chapel will showcase the ‘Flanders Field’ display, expected to flower from June onwards.
In the walled gardens there will be two wildflower areas ‘Old Comrades Mix’ which is a special commemorative mix and the stunning ‘Meadow Mix’ which will flower from the end of May throughout the summer, and is a particular favourite of bees and butterflies.
Many new varieties of roses are waiting to entice visitors to the Cut Flower Garden. Head gardener Martin Duncan explains: “We decided to continue the theme of roses named after well-known faces and have planted Gertrude Jekyll, Alan Titchmarsh, Geoff Hamilton, Graham Thomas and Darcy Bussell blooms.
“The team have worked tirelessly over the winter months to prepare and we are all looking forward to showing off the new look for visitors when we reopen on 01 April”.
A whopping 36,000 spring bulbs have been planted in the Collector Earl’s Garden, ranging from daffodils and snowdrops to crown imperials and tulips. The annual Tulip Extravaganza, which sees around 15,000 tulips in bloom, promises stunning displays of 20 different tulip varieties including ‘Antoinette’, ‘Candy Club’ and ‘Black Parrot’.
The Castle will be open to visitors from 01 April until 02 November, Tuesday to Sunday, Mondays in August and Bank Holiday Mondays. Individual tickets are priced from £9.