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The closure of Leonardslee Gardens

12 comments


This evening, Leonardslee Gardens, near Horsham, in West Sussex shuts to the public. I wrote about this earlier this year and hoped it would be saved, alas, the decision stands to close these wonderful gardens.
The Grade 1 Listed gardens, owned by the Loder family for more than 150 years have been sold to an Eastern European businessman for £5 million pounds.
So, it’s goodbye to the chance of seeing the rhododendrons, azaleas, magnolias and camellias, together with a mob of Wallabies, unless, by any chance, Tom Loder and his sister, current owners, persuade the buyer to open it occasionally via the NGS.
Apparently, all the full-time gardeners will be offered employment there but the new owner has no intention to run it as a tourist attraction.
On Monday, the gardens were full of visitors who had come to see the gardens after hearing about the closure.

Oh well, I have photographs dating back to the Sixties when my parents took my sister and I there, also some when we took our own children.

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Comments

 

I have been there and loved it...it will be greatly missed. I am very very sad!

30 Jun, 2010

 

What a dreadful shame.

30 Jun, 2010

 

What a shame.

30 Jun, 2010

 

its such a shame when things like this happen and especially to a foreign buissness man, wish they would keep things like this to british people ;o(

30 Jun, 2010

 

Another sad day. :-((. All that can be hoped for now, is that the gardens will be kept, and not built over. The gardeners being kept on sounds hopeful.

30 Jun, 2010

 

I am hopeful too about those gardeners being kept on. Where there is life there is hope. We used to open to the public and I loved it but for someone from a foreign country that might seem strange. Mind you a lot of the so called foreigners are more British than the British. Like the Scots abroad are more Scottish and aware that they need to pass on their cultural heritage to their children and anybody else who will embrace it. We think we go out and enrich the world while doing allright for ourselves so we need to embrace what is good about incomers.

30 Jun, 2010

 

I remember hearing about this on Gardener`s World and the head gardener had spent most of his working life there. He said he couldn`t imagine not seeing the beautiful gardens again after being there for so long. I`m so pleased he has kept his job along with the other grounds staff but I`m disappointed the new owners won`t open to the public. :o(

30 Jun, 2010

 

Many thanks for all your comments. We always used to drive past these gardens on the way to London, before the by-pass, then motorway were built, even viewing from the roadside was a pleasure !

30 Jun, 2010

 

That's such a shame.
And how selfish and spiteful of the new owner to close it completely for ever.
Since it's always been open to the public you'd think he'd be willing to open it on a few days a year at least. The money could go to a charity.
Some people think only of their own pleasure and to hell with everyone else. :o(( I think the new owner of these gardens must be such a person :o(

1 Jul, 2010

 

We took ten years to get our garden sorted out as the house had to take priority and we have no way of knowing what is going through the new owners head. He obviously wants to keep the garden in tip top shape or he would not have kept on all the gardeners. I think a softly softly approach with everyone who has visited writing to him saying 'welcome to Leonardslee and you hope very much that he will organise opening the garden again' might work. A change of owner means new insurance cover etc and the public are too ready now to consult a no win no fee expert on their own behalf. I think he would have been mad to take on what is not a business from the sound of it and underwrite it himself. I don't think he would be in a secure enough financial position to keep the garden or the house if he was that stupid. Reading what I have said it sounds rude and I am not intending to critise anyone but I am afraid the harsh realities of life hit everybody nowadays.

1 Jul, 2010

 

Very well put, Shirley! The buyer will, most probably, not even be aware of the history of this garden being open/custom, etc. And, if we sent every "foreigner" homewards "to think again" - and the same was done ti us - the UK would probably sink to the ocean floor with the weight, lol! :-))

Is there a way of posting a welcome message by internet, do you know?

2 Jul, 2010

 

What a shame, all those lovely plants :o( Hope they are kept on as David says.

2 Jul, 2010

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