Dog show for visitors and their four-legged friends at Gardens of Easton Lodge's June open day

The Gardens of Easton Lodge

Roses in The Gardens of Easton Lodge - Credit: The Gardens of Easton Lodge

There will be a special open day for visitors and their dogs at the glorious Gardens of Easton Lodge in Essex later this month.

The Gardens of Easton Lodge will be open on Sunday, June 26, for the Preservation Trust’s Open Day when visitors’ canine companions will be centre stage with a range of fun classes for them.  

Visitors will love the gardens in June, when they are always awash with colour. Gates open at 11am. 

A dog on the north steps at Easton Lodge

A dog on the north steps at Easton Lodge - Credit: The Gardens of Easton Lodge

The Countess of Warwick, who owned Easton Lodge from 1865 to 1938, loved her pets and was a great supporter of dog shows, both in Essex and Warwickshire.

In her memoirs she remembered with fondness having been given a St Bernard by Marie, the ex-Queen of Naples.

She was a breeder of Japanese spaniels and collies and owned 13 dogs at the time of her death.

The Countess of Warwick with one of her dogs at Easton Lodge

The Countess of Warwick with one of her dogs at Easton Lodge - Credit: The Gardens of Easton Lodge

At the Gardens of Easton Lodge Preservation Trust’s June Open Day there will be fun classes for dogs, starting at 12.30pm, judged by Wendy Paffey of Wendy’s Dog Grooming and Petcare Services.

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She will judge categories such as 'Best Puppy', 'Best Veteran', 'Dog with the Waggiest Tail', 'Prettiest Bitch', 'Handsomest Dog', and the dog she would most like to take home with her.

Prizes have kindly been donated by Burns Pet Foods.

The timings of the classes can be found on the Trust’s website at www.eastonlodge.co.uk/whats-on 


What is there to see in The Gardens of Easton Lodge? 

Waterlilies in the Gardens of Easton Lodge

Waterlilies in the Gardens of Easton Lodge - Credit: The Gardens of Easton Lodge

In June, the Historic England Grade II registered Gardens at Little Easton, near Great Dunmow, look magnificent, with foxgloves and poppies everywhere and giant onopordum acanthium (Scotch thistles) making their presence felt.

The Trust’s volunteers have been working hard to ensure the gardens will be looking at their best for the Open Day. They have planted lots of new plants and watering when there was no rain. 

They are now having to focus on removing the weeds brought on by the showers we have had.

In the Italian Garden, there are some unusual specimen plants and rich colours from the waterlilies and roses, lilies and daylilies, amongst others; and the Periploca graeca, one of the Gardens’ Victorian heirloom plants, is smothered in its small purple flowers.

The walled kitchen garden's cut flower border is coming into life, starting with Ixias amongst the love-in-the-mist, while the soft fruit is ripening, the vegetables are filling out, and organisers should have new season produce to sell at the Open Day.

Visitors will enjoy seeing the continued development of the Japanese garden at the bottom of the Glade.

There will be a range of stalls, including plants, jams and honey, woodturning and crafts, and the Trust’s volunteers will provide refreshments from Daisy’s kiosk, including local bacon, cheese or hummus rolls and delicious homemade cakes, hot and cold drinks. 


When is The Gardens of Easton Lodge's Sunday Open Day in June?

The Gardens of Easton Lodge will be open from 11am to 5pm on Sunday, June 26, with last entry at 4pm.

Tickets may be purchased in advance, available through the website www.eastonlodge.co.uk or Facebook page or directly through the booking agent Trybooking.com.

Tickets will also be available on the gate from noon. Adults pay £5.50, free entry for children. Dogs £2 fee for entering as many classes as they are eligible for. They are welcome as usual to explore the gardens on a lead.  


History of The Gardens of Easton Lodge

The Gardens of Easton Lodge, at Little Easton, are Historic England Grade II registered.

The Countess of Warwick, who grew up at Easton Lodge, had her gardens redesigned for her by the Edwardian designer Harold Peto in 1902.

They are the only example of Peto’s work in the East of England.

The Countess loved her Essex home and the surrounding farmland and countryside. 

The Gardens, however, fell into disrepair after their use by the US Army Air Force and RAF in the Second World War and are currently being restored and made open to the public by the Preservation Trust and its band of dedicated volunteers.

The Gardens of Easton Lodge comprise Peto’s Italian garden centred around a large lilypond and a reconstruction of Peto’s treehouse in an old oak tree in the lime wood.

There's also formal and informal gardens, including the old croquet lawn, a historic walled kitchen garden, and a small but expanding Japanese style garden. 

A wide variety of specimen trees can be found around the gardens, including nine regional champion trees and trees donated by Henry and Janet Girling. 

The gardens of Warwick House, which is the remains of the mansion that was Easton Lodge, will also be open to visitors, courtesy of their owners.