Open Gardens Day

Five Gardeners

Mrs Dodgson lived at Hill House, up the hill towards Bildeston. She was regarded as an extremely knowledgeable gardener.

Major-General Sir John Drummond and Lady Inglis. Sir John appointed KBE (1945), OBE (1939), MC (1916) was one of Montgomery’s commanders in WW2. He was the Chief Royal Engineer of the 21st Army Group, responsible for the planning and execution of the D-Day landings. They lived at the Manor.

Mr & Mrs Guy Powell. Always pronounced ‘Pole’. He was regarded as the village squire. They lived at The Grange. Mr Powell was a relative of Lord Baden-Powell founder of the Boy Scouts Movement.

Miss Diana Grimwade and Miss Molly Grimwade.  Their father was a Hadleigh solicitor, and the Old Hall where they lived, was rented by them from the de la Mare family. It was Diana Grimwade, as the treasurer of the PCC, who suggested the Open Gardens fundraising idea.

Chelsworth gardeners were not merely enthusiastic amateurs.  A cousin of the Grimwade sisters, Richard Britten was a highly respected, and well known landscape architect and plantsman. A member of the Alpine Garden Society, he regularly exhibited alpines at Vincent Square in London. The small yellow Fritillaria pudica ‘Richard Britten’ is named after him. Richard Britten was awarded the Reginald Farrer Memorial Award in 1976. His garden at the Old Forge was full of glass houses filled with alpines.

And an Unsung Hero

... an unsung hero of the early years of Chelsworth Open Gardens, was Bob Lister who was the gardener to at least three gardens mentioned! Bob Lister’s own garden was one of immaculate rows of healthy vegetables. He was born and lived in Chelsworth most of his life; a bench is dedicated to him in the Village Playing Fields.