We have lived here since 1966, but only
started buying back what had previously belonged to Shrubs Farmhouse
in 1980. The farm now extends to 260 acres.
Firstly the barns which were
restored from a state of near collapse by local craftsmen, followed
by the farmland, which at that time resembled a prairie. Any hedges
not grubbed out were regularly flailed to ground level. This was the
general practice at the time.
On acquiring the land, a 20-year plan of action was drawn up to
restore the landscape. The first priority was to restore the field
and boundary hedges, about five miles of which have been planted or
allowed to regenerate.
In these hedges are local English hardwoods such as Holly, Oak, Ash,
Hornbeam, Small Leafed Lime, Wild Cherry, Hazel, Cherry Plum, Field
Maple, Walnut, Spindle, Dogwood as well as Blackthorn and Hawthorn.
Since 1994, the gardens, orchard and fruit cage to the South, have
been created and a park of some 50 acres now surrounds the house.
We are experimenting to see what will grow well within the Park with
a range of ornamental trees. These include some 70 varieties of Oak
(Quercus) from all over the world.
Details can be found on separate pages, but most oaks do well here
and there are two mature specimens of Q. Ilex (Holm Oak) in front of
Other specimen trees include Taxidium Distichum (Swamp Cypress),
acers, prunus and various conifers for Winter cover including Cedars
of Lebanon and Giant Redwoods. The is also an avenue of Plane trees
The farm circa 1950
Same view 2005