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March - Oct; Mon, & Wed, Thur, Fri, Sat & BHs; 9am - 5pm; Sun; 2pm - 5pm.
Nov - Christmas; Fri & Sat; 9am - dusk, Sun 2pm - dusk.
Summer & Autumn
Conducted tours for evening visits during summer months £3 (includes glass of wine) during summer months only. Voluntary donation for coach parties of £1. Plants may be purchased from the nursery on these occasions.
Wheelchair and umbrellas available to borrow. Gardening Workshop - Autumn Pruning View Product Course Tutor - Jan Adams - Date - Friday 8th October - am or pm Jazz Concert - View Product Jazz with the John Petters Jazz and Swing Quartet, From £8
Four acres of garden, including many thousands of varieties of trees, shrubs, perennials and climbers in a parkland setting. Recently re-furbished pond. Fourth largest ash tree in the country.
Nags Head, Little Hadham
Many large trees surrounded the seven acre property, but as these were mainly elm, they have long since gone. A few large oaks remain on the North perimeter as well as a huge common ash tree (currently the fourth largest in the country measuring over 100ft high and 17ft girth). Cables in the crown are designed to prevent the loss of large boughs as the tree stands in a windy location.
The parkland setting in rolling countryside lent itself to island beds laid out in an informal style, inspiration coming largely from Alan Bloom's Dell Garden in Norfolk. Conifers, shrubs and roses were the mainstay of the planting.
The nursery production area is situated at the end of the garden, and to protect the view from the garden an avenue of fastigiate hornbeams were planted in 1996 and are developing nicely. These are spaced in converging rows and varying separation so as to increase the perspective.
Changes in the type of plants grown in the nursery naturally started to show in the garden which has become a useful collection of stock plants. Thus many more perennials both hardy and half-hardy are grown. The garden has also been a useful trial ground for the many hundreds of new plants collected over the years from all over the world.
Several new beds were added and others altered in shape to create the oval lawn in 1997 in order to give the garden a more coordinated design. Also beds have been made larger with paths and secret hiding places which are fun for children of all ages.
Hopleys was purchased in 1963 by David & Barbara Barker at which time the garden was very basic and restricted to the area where the car park is now. The gales in the Autumn of 1987 caused a lot of damage with many trees both large and small being lost. Amazingly, two variegated Spanish chestnuts which were lying horizontally were rescued.