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Festive Feature Idea


I spent last Saturday in a beautiful garden at the home of Cynthia and John Ramsden on the edge of the Peak District National Park – Fanshawe Gate Hall.
The property is over 700 years old and the garden has been redesigned over the past decade to reflect the Tudor era. Each year, Cynthia and her team of designers, builders, gardeners, artists, volunteers, and visitors spend the spring prepping the property for open days. Since 2005, they have raised over £30,000 benefiting the National Garden Scheme’s charities.
The property is truly stunning and while meandering around the grounds, I came across a fantastic Christmas Feature easily doable in your own garden.
Cynthia found a box of discarded chandelier pieces leftover from a car boot sale find. Having no use for them and needing to tidy up the attic, she had the idea to hang them off the focal topiary tree residing at the front of the hall. The idea is simple but quite effective in that the crystal pieces catch the sun’s rays and cast rainbows across the garden all day.
I have attached a photo of Cynthia and I touring the grounds and several of the adorned topiary. The Hall has a long history and I encourage you to visit the website to view this little slice of gardening heaven:
In September of this year, Cynthia published her second book, Garden Tales, which chronicles the pleasures – and occasional pains – of opening a garden to the public. The book is a delightful afternoon read and I have purchased a copy as a Christmas gift for my garden-loving mum.

More blog posts by noniemarler



Hi Nonie. Welcome to GoY.
That's a really interesting place, and wonderful that it's raised so much money for charity.

16 Nov, 2009


This is a lovely blog, Nonie :-)
Good idea too for those old chandelier pieces.

16 Nov, 2009


Welcome to GoY. Good blog with plenty of info

16 Nov, 2009


Hi Nonie - welcome from me. as well. That sounds like a lovely place to visit. How wonderful to plan a garden to 'match' the house!

16 Nov, 2009


And a warm welcome from me too.

16 Nov, 2009


Welcome Nonie from me too. Your blog is really interesting and it sounds like a wonderful way to spend a day. That idea about the crystals is good.
Shall look forward to further blogs from you.

16 Nov, 2009


Welcome to GOY and thanks for sharing those lovely photos with us. Sounds like a great place.

16 Nov, 2009


Welcome from me, enjoyed your blog and the tour around the garden.

16 Nov, 2009


Loved the pics and welcome from me too

16 Nov, 2009


Hi Nonie - great post. Fanshawe looks beautiful and I've added it to my list of gardens to visit in the spring of '10. Where can I purchase the book? Can you please post the link?

17 Nov, 2009


Hi everyone, thanks for the wonderful welcome!

sonofbluehornet, I purchased the book online and found the link at The link is under the 'Books' tab (Garden Tales is actually Cynthia's second book!) but for your reference is:

Hope this helps, looking forward to blogging on here.


17 Nov, 2009

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