Elizabeth, one of our lovely volunteers, is often found with trowel in hand tending the David Parr House garden. Through sun and rain she has nurtured the plants, pruned the bushes and every now and then shouted at the squirrels! Here are her musing about time spent working at the back of 186.


The David Parr house is closed and without visitors from December to February so this is the time for the volunteer gardener to put the garden to bed for the winter and prepare for the next season.

I began by stripping out the spent annuals, dead plants and weeds; then I cut down and marked with sticks the location of plants that had completely died back. Even after this autumn clearance, the garden was not bare because the cyclamen leaves with their white heart-shaped marbling, the bright ferns, the honeysuckle on the fence, all flourished in green, and the broad mats of fleabane were still starred with daisy-like flowers all along the path.

Carry on reading … (opens in PDF)


I am a volunteer at the David Parr House where I put myself forward to help maintain the back garden through the first year of the project.

It was easy at first – I inherited a beautiful planting plan and roses, lilies, geraniums, lavender and many more plants carefully labeled, interred and spaced.  It was clear what to keep and what to eject so I set to, weeding out the ground elder and alkanet, both of which aspire to world domination but …

Read on (opens in PDF)