The creation of the garden at Snugborough Mill is an ongoing project which started when the Mill was purchased in December 2010. At that time, the garden was completely overgrown, with the millpond totally silted up, having been largely neglected for at least 50 years.
The plan for the garden has been designed by Rupert, a professional water engineer for 25 years and now a professional landscape gardener. Most of the construction work has been done by Rupert and his work colleagues from The Cotswold Landscaping Company.
The dominant feature of the 2.5 acre garden has always been the magnificent 500 year old, 200m long by 20m wide mill pond, supplied from a small weir on the Blockley Brook. The key element for the initial garden work plan was to restore and make safe all the water control systems involving repairs to the brook intake structure, sluice gates, wheelhouse intake structure and culverts. This was followed by desilting of the pond and reconstruction of collapsed sections of the pond banks.
The restored millpond is now a haven for bird wildlife (with its resident ducks and kingfishers) and fish (with its stock of brown trout). A delightful Monet style bridge links the two upper sides of the millpond.
In contrast to the peaceful natural landscape setting of the millpond, a more formal garden arrangement with a number of different areas of interest has been created around the handsome mill buildings. Planting of shrubs, trees and other plants is ongoing.
The major works carried out to date, include:
- Creation of the driveway and parking areas
- Desilting of the pond, and restoring the mill pond structures
- Landscaping of the front garden and steps to upper terrace
- Installation of the arched bridge
- Main and lower terrace paving, and steps
- Raised vegetable beds and fruit garden
- Construction of the new oak water wheel
The garden was opened for the first time in 2013 as part of the Blockley village open gardens under the National Garden Scheme.
Future works will include the following as part of the overall plan:
- Completion of the vegetable garden area to include a lean to green house against the old coach house wall
- Installation of a restored water turbine to generate electricity
- Further planting of trees and shrubs.