WISBECH: Peckover House helps celebrate centenary of Graham Stuart Thomas

THIS month marks the centenary of the birth of Graham Stuart Thomas, one of the most important figures in twentieth century British horticulture. Despite spending his life supervising the restoration of some of the country s most important gardens, very

THIS month marks the centenary of the birth of Graham Stuart Thomas, one of the most important figures in twentieth century British horticulture.

Despite spending his life supervising the restoration of some of the country's most important gardens, very few people have heard of him.

One of the gardens where his work can still be seen at the National Trust's Peckover House in Wisbech.

The vista through the peacock topiary hedges down towards the Orangery is one of the most picturesque views in the garden. It is here that visitors will find the Graham Stuart Thomas borders.


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Graham designed the deep double borders in four colour themed sections back in the 1960s.

From yellows and golds, to blues and silvers, pinks and purples and whites, these borders stretch from the rose pillars to the walls and provide colour throughout the year. Visitors to the gardens this spring will see a great variety of Narcissus in bloom, then as June approaches the walls become covered in a variety of period roses in time for Wisbech's annual rose festival.

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The breadth of gardens that Graham Thomas worked on was vast, although his portfolio in the East is small. He spent his lifetime developing major plant collections, brought gardens back from the brink of dereliction, and was a major influence in the world of horticulture.

For his outstanding services to horticulture and his work for the National Trust, where he held the position of Garden Advisor for thirty years, he was awarded an OBE in 1975. Born in Cambridgeshire on 3 April 1909 this year will mark 100 years since his birth and what better time to celebrate his life's work.

Peckover's Garden is open Saturdays to Wednesdays from 12 noon to 5pm; the house opens from 1pm.

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