Essence of summer

Words by:
Caroline Bingham
Featured in:
June 2015

Work to re-establish Easton Walled Gardens, the 400-year-old gardens near Grantham began in 2001 and today they have emerged from years of decline thanks to the present generation of the Cholmeley family.

Lady Ursula Cholmeley and her husband Sir Fred Cholmeley have revived these quintessentially English gardens to be a year-round visitor attraction. Whatever the season, the gardens are always an interesting and beautiful place to visit. The horticultural haven includes meadows, vegetable and cottage gardens, borders, terrace, roses and drifts of bulbs. An award-winning tearoom serves delicious food and light lunches while the well-stocked shop sells plants, seeds and gifts.

The ‘Essence of Summer’, launched in association with Smiths Gore, is searching for photographs which capture what is great about the British summer.

A judging panel, consisting of the great and the good of the gardening world, will cast their eye over the six categories: The Essence of Summer, Roses & Sweet Peas, Easton Walled Gardens, Summer Life, A Garden Landscape, Under 18.

Sir Fred Cholmeley is an enthusiastic photographer and he and his wife Lady Ursula launched the competition at the gardens last month.

He explained: “We were inspired by our son to introduce the competition. Monty Cholmeley is almost eighteen and passionate about outdoor and wildlife photography, he’s already won his first national competition and is determined to make a career of it. His enthusiasm convinced us Easton Walled Gardens could be the inspiration for a national gardening photography competition.”

The judges include:
• Jason Ingram – Garden Photographer of the Year
• James Alexander-Sinclair – Garden Designer, TV presenter and journalist
• Rupert Uloth – Deputy editor, Country Life,
• Dawn Isaac – Chelsea award-winning designer, BBC gardening consultant and journalist
• Michael Marriott – David Austin Roses

The winner will receive a prize of £500 and a major exhibition is planned in the autumn to show the entries. Submissions must be sent to: and the closing date is Wednesday 30th September 2015. There is no entry fee.

Terms & conditions: We advise that all entrants read the terms & conditions before submitting their work, please go to for full details T&Cs and all competition details.


Wednesday 3rd June 2.30pm–7pm Price: £99

Be part of this great group workshop and dinner, a fabulous way to spend three hours in the kitchen, to experience the Italian idea of sharing followed by a delicious supper in the gardens.

Linda Hewett is a Lincolnshire based expert bread maker, chef and inspirational demonstrator with many years of experience. Years of travel and kitchen experiences provide rich pickings for humour, passion and how to troubleshoot home baking.

For more information and to book visit or call 01476 530063

Open daily from 5th–12th July

Every year hundreds of sweet pea plants are raised from seeds in the greenhouses at Easton Walled Gardens. During the week you will find over 100 types from heritage, modern and scented to striped, flake and bi-colour varieties – a festival of colour and scent.

Sundays in August, 4pm–6pm
This year, visitors to the popular ‘Dog Days’ will be able to meet the charity Hearing Dogs for Deaf People.

With gates staying open until 6pm on Sunday 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd and 30th August, guests can wander and explore, taking in the Long Border, the Cottage Garden and the winding banks of the River Witham, which passes through the grounds.

After your walk, owners that head to the tearoom will find dog bowls of water and even a dog biscuit for their canine companion. On Sunday 9th August, the Gardens’ chosen charity will be on hand from 2pm–6pm with gorgeous puppies for any visitors to play with, along with a tombola to raise money.

Entry costs £6.95 for adults and £2.95 for children – dogs are free. For owners who visit the tearooms, there will be a free dog biscuit and bowls of water.

Sunday 6th September, 11am–4pm

A day showcasing the best artisan crafts and food the region has to offer, plus demonstrations and children’s activities.

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