If you’ve been following us for a while, you will have seen our Head Gardener Kevin Sweet before.
Kevin has worked with us for an amazing 46 years and has been an incredible gardener in that time. You can feel Kevin’s passion for the grounds as you walk around the gardens and see the careful pruning of hedges, vast array of flowers and the beautiful planting of many trees.
Seven years ago, Kevin collected an acorn from an English Oak (Quercus robur variety), found in the Southbank Wood, which is an ancient protected woodland within our grounds, and had the wonderful idea of growing the acorn and planting it within our grounds. This species of tree, in particular, was chosen as it is native to the UK and is perfect for providing food and shelter for our wildlife. Under the watchful eye of Kevin and after years of nurture, the acorn has begun to grow into the magnificent tree it will one day become.
With the country celebrating the Queens Platinum Jubilee this year, we have decided that the tree will be planted as part of The Queens Green Canopy, which is a unique tree planting scheme created this year to mark the momentous occasion, “Plant a tree for the Jubilee.”
The planting will take place this October 2022 and an official plaque will be mounted. You will be able to find the sapling, lovingly named 'The Sweet Oak' after Kevin Sweet, at grid reference TQ429320, Old Cherry Orchard, Cow Lane. If you wanted to extend your walk, you can also visit the wood where the acorn was collected and see what our 'Sweet Oak' is likely to become.
As put by Kevin, "we are planting this special tree for future generations, and hope they get to enjoy it as we enjoy the oaks in the forest".
Update - Tuesday 18th October
Our dearest tree has finally been planted and a plaque mounted. Our General Manager, Mr Booker, planted the tree today at 11am with the help of Kevin.
We gathered around for the momentous occasion and celebrated our Sweet Oak.
It feels even more special to be planting our Sweet Oak as part of the Queens Green Canopy with the recent loss of Her Majesty The Queen. Long may her legacy live on.