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Gardener takes root and celebrates 35-year career at Wimpole Hall

By Adrian Curtis

Wimpole Hall Gardener Philip Whaites
Wimpole Hall Gardener Philip Whaites

Growing on him - green-fingered Phil has seen it all

A local gardener has celebrated 35 years at one of the county’s top tourist attractions.

Wimpole Estate’s Head Gardener, Philip Whaites, first began working on the Nation al Trust Estate near Cambridge in 1981.

Mr Whaites, who hails from Yorkshire, started as an assistant gardener before being promoted to head gardener in 1986.

He said: “It seems hard to believe that I’ve been here so long, every day the there is always something to do in the garden and it never fails to inspire me.

“The changes made over that time have created a garden that our visitors love to see and staff and volunteers are very proud of.”

Mr Whaites has overseen tremendous changes in the gardens during this time including helping to plant the iconic two-and-half-mile South Avenue, to recreating the Pleasure Grounds, Dutch Garden and Victorian Parterre.

Currently, there are three staff and 97 garden volunteers, who all have contributed to helping him with the garden.

This year marks the 300th anniversary of the birth of Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown, a designer who changed the national landscape and created a style which has shaped people’s picture of the quintessential English countryside. He was also responislbe for the North Park at Wimpole.

As the first ever celebration of his extensive works, the Capability Brown Festival 2016 brings together a huge range of events, openings and exhibitions some of which are taking place at Wimpole Hall.


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