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Recent sad events have led me to reminisce about one particular project which I am particularly proud of. In late 2009 we were commissioned by Capel Manor House and Gardens to design and build a ruined Fortified Manor House as the setting for a new signature Show Garden.

The Queen's Garden
The Queen's Garden Bell Tower

The centre piece of my design was a Bell Tower and Cloister Courtyard. The ruined Bell Tower featured our Secret Door with Arrow Cross Window over. I was particularly pleased with the impression of cannon ball damage next to the Arrow Cross.

The Queen's Garden Gateway

Then we built remants of a Gateway, Living Quarters, Hall and Kitchen dotted around, all carefully designed and laid out so that once they would have all fitted together as a whole. It soon became known as The Old Manor House Garden.

The Queen's Garden Build

We were blessed with dry weather for the early part of the build and by the end of the third week we were up to the top of the Tower fitting the Bell Tower Windows, and then on up to the Battlement Stones.

Dr Stephen Dowbiggin (red hat), then Principal and CEO of Capel Manor, was the driving force behind the project and the Head Gardeners, Julie Phipps & Mark Cook (left) took over where I and my team left off. Their planting and landscaping brought the whole scene to life.

The Queen's Garden Build
The Queen's Garden Unveiling

It was a proud day on June 20th 2010 Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II visited Capel Manor and opened the Bell Tower and Cloister section of the Old Manor House Garden, naming it ‘The Queen’s Garden’.

Tim Redwood meeting HRH The Queen

Actually I had been pre-warned of this honour and in recognition of this I had hidden a coin from the reigns of both Queen Elizabeths among the mortar work. They are very well hidden, probably not worth trying to look!

As I watched Her Majesty during the speeches I saw an elderly lady, just like my Mum, looking around and taking everything in. I swear she looked me briefly in the eye and recognised me from our earlier introduction. It seemed like such a natural, personal moment away from all the formality, pomp and circumstance that she was so often surrounded by.

Contact Tim for your own custom design, however small or large – practically everything is always in stock – most orders delivered in under two weeks (unless you’re after a cathedral!)


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