Napton woman opens her 'pioneering garden' to visitors – complete with panda!

Bridge Nursery owner Christine Dakin is celebrating 20 years of supporting the National Garden Scheme

Christine Dakin in her garden in Napton.

A Napton woman is celebrating supporting a national charity campaign for two decades by opening her ‘pioneering’ clay soil garden to visitors over the coming weeks and months.

Bridge Nursery owner Christine Dakin is welcoming people to view her garden in Tomlow Road in support of The National Garden Scheme (NGS) every Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 4pm up until September 30.

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She will also have the garden open on Thursday June 2 and Friday June 3 and on Monday August 29 between 10am to 4pm on each of these dates.

Christine Dakin's Garden in Napton.

Originally from a Bedfordshire family of market gardeners, Christine purchased the large Napton field in 1997 where, alongside her busy plant nursery, an acre garden now boasts an exciting range of plants thriving in hostile conditions.

Grass paths lead round borders filled with many unusual plants, a pond and bamboo grove (complete with panda!) - offering a peaceful haven for wildlife and visitors.

Gardening clubs from near and far regularly include Bridge Nursery on their itinerary.

Christine's daily tasks are usually weather-dependent.

Christine Dakin's Garden in Napton.

She said: “I might be propagating, potting, watering or gardening.

"On days when the gate is open, I'll be available to serve customers giving advice and help when needed."

Her clay-soil garden has been a work-in-progress and shows her determination to conquer the unforgiving soil so prevalent in Warwickshire.

She said: "If you cross-reference plants which will grow well on deep heavy clay and on an exposed site, you would have a very limited range to choose from.

Christine Dakin's Garden in Napton.

"I have used the site to experiment, to see what will grow well and what won't.

“Over the years the ground has had a huge amount of compost added to it and the soil is definitely improving.

“I won't pretend it's easy, it is waterlogged most winters and then can have deep cracks in dry summers.

"It is surprising how many plants thrive in the garden - Hellebore, Fritillaria and Dwarf tulips grow here in springtime abundance.”

Light refreshments for visitors.

Admission is £3.50 for adults and free for children.

Dogs on leads are welcome.

For more about the NGS, which rises money for nursing and health charities, visit https://ngs.org.uk/

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