News & Events

Open Gardens (The Close) – Sunday 12 June 2022

May 1, 2022

The beautiful cottage garden behind 38-46 The Close will be open to the public on the afternoon of Sunday 12 June 2022, as part of a ‘Secret Gardens of the Close’ event sponsored by The Friends of Salisbury Cathedral. A number of gardens in the Close will be on show between 2.00 pm and 4.00 pm on the day.

When The College of Matrons was founded in 1682, its garden would originally have provided vegetables and fruit for the residents. In more recent times it has become mostly a ‘community’ flower garden in the best and truest sense: a place of quiet and stillness, and a place to be shared and enjoyed by all who live here. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the charity took the opportunity to install three raised beds in the garden area behind 39-46 The Close, which are mostly used for vegetables—thus harking back to the garden’s original purpose. Although each Matron has the opportunity to tend an area of the garden if she wishes, currently only a few have the expertise and, in some cases, the time, to look after their own patch. What you see today is the happy consequence of the charity’s decision to engage the gardening couple, John and Kate Beckett. They have maintained, and in many places improved on, a wonderful tapestry of different planting styles, all inherited from now-departed former Matrons, with the majority favouring herbaceous perennials and shrubs, along with a good collection of roses. Wildlife is also important, and this is reflected in the various native plants to be found scattered among the borders, and a small pond.

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