Brightwater Gardens, Saxby, Lincolnshire

Imagine starting a major garden from scratch, transforming eight acres of fertile farmland in the flat county of Lincolnshire into a garden open to the public. It's what dreams are made of. It is eleven years since Chris Neave, a twenty years served landscape gardener, commenced constructing a garden for the 21st century on the grounds of a 1930s bungalow built by his great aunt Annie Winifred Neave. Situated in the small village of Saxby, you can spot the influence the moment you approach the village down a narrow road between open fields. Suddenly snowdrops adorn the verges. The gardens surround two modern stone houses. Brightwater Gardens was a surprise. February can strip away any gardens to its foundations and here the foundations are clearly delineated.  For me the eighty varieties of snowdrops on offer were a main draw. The gardens were open for two weeks only for the snowdrop season, re-opening on April 28th. We will certainly return for the summer when we are reliably informed the planting is lush and varied.

The small clumps of snowdrops contained some choice varieties

A notice apologised for the late flowering of the crocus but look!

Neat paths, birch and planted bulbs and the broad lincolnshire sky

A garden in development but so neatly manicured for the warmer months

A whole variety of trees have been planted, and under-planted

The crocus were not named but perhaps "Snow Bunting" 

The snowdrops were all labelled. Perhaps"Brenda Troyle"

Many new projects were in progress

Again a new project

To the side of the house there are hidden depths

Hedges and architectural topiary are impressive for a garden so young

Iris and snowdrops make good bed fellows

"Spindlestone Surprise"

A "barn" for light refreshments and wood burner stove

The narrow road was planted with snowdrops to good effect

St. Helens Church, believed to have been designed by Capability Brown

We left to a fly-by from the Red Arrows based at nearby RAF Scampton


  1. An allee/grove of birch underplanted with snowdrops... to dream of, if I ever find myself gardening in a cooler climate. Otherwise a fascinating post, as showing what can be achieved in an extensive space in eleven years!

  2. Colder climates have their limitations and pleasures. The garden was a surprise. I'm looking forward to returning in weather much like yours, Amy. We have an 80mph gale at the moment!

    1. Ouch! Hope it doesn't do too much damage!

    2. Thanks, Amy. A little damage. We have just returned from seeing "Gaslight" (great old fashioned melodrama) to discover the felt on the large shed had been swept off. I have the extra felt and hope there is no shortage of strong adhesive as I guess others have had the same problem.


And remembering .....

Galanthus 'Mighty Atom'