about the Burrows gardens

About the Burrows Gardens

The Burrows Gardens has been a personal project of Craig Dalton since a very early age. The history is his recollection of events which influenced the development of the gardens…

The Burrows was lived in by Major R.K. Knowles and his wife for many years. They were wonderful people, mildly eccentric, but had a comfortable lifestyle and a full time gardener who spent most of his time in the walled vegetable garden.

The house had been owned by the Dalton family since the 1930's so when the Knowles passed away Craig's parents chose to move to the Burrows in 1977.

They took over a fairly small garden comprising of three rows of huge laurels on the roadside and a series of formal rose-beds on the front and south side of the house. There was an orchard with mature flowering and fruiting trees. There were other aspects to the garden, but on a much smaller scale.

Craig's parents pulled out the large laurel trees and built a large soil bank to give them immediate privacy from the road; albeit a quiet lane, and covered the bank in evergreen shrubs. They removed the formal rose beds and created more lawn. They added a pergola with archways for climbing roses. To hide a farm building, a leylandii hedge was planted with an informal rose bed in front and his father created an adjacent pond with running water.

Craig moved to the Burrows in 1985 with his first wife and young family and he immediately started to change the garden again. His first task had to be to remove the bank. The bank was very steep-sided and difficult to maintain, and so the bank was leveled out back towards the house and the beech hedge planted for the roadside privacy. The pond, which his father had built so carefully with cascading water, was filled in and a bog garden created. This was largely done with the children's safety in mind.

Over the next few years, plantings continued everywhere both within the garden and in many fields outside. He planted woodlands, groups and individual park trees wherever possible.

In 2003, he met designer Julian Dowle from Gloucestershire, who planned many new beds further away still from the house. These were all put into place in 2004 with great difficulty caused mainly by heavy rain, and even though the garden was drained, it still holds wet patches with the water held in the top 8 inches, sometimes an advantage, sometimes not.

In 2005, he built a brand new temple garden including a reflection pool with an all-white planting scheme and an emphasis on silver foliage.

There is a great deal to see both young and old at the Burrows, but always a changing garden. He created vistas, walkways, and planned planting schemes, some with the help of others and much himself. He made great use of statutary, urns, still and fountain pools; he also loved wrought ironwork, again important to set off a garden. Craig greatly admired skilled craftsmen.

Very sadly, Craig passed away in January 2015. The creation of the Burrows was all down to him and I am so sad that he is not able to see it mature and flourish. If he were here, he would very much be looking forward to welcoming you to the garden....I am so proud of all that he achieved and only hope that you enjoy looking at his beautiful creation.

Do come and visit us and I will do my utmost to make you very welcome.

Nicky Dalton