birtleyFor 600 years Birtley House (near Bramley, Surrey) was a working farm, until it was purchased in the 19th century by Lord Ashcombe. It was then that the gardens began to develop. After 1906 the head gardener, Fred Streeter, nurtured the gardens with the help of his friend Gertrude Jekyll. Today, work continues to restore parts of the garden to their former glory, as well as creating new planting schemes, managing the kitchen gardens and renovating the rose gardens and herbaceous borders.

birtley blooming wildIf this all sounds appealing and you’re thinking of making a visit then you’re in luck, because while the gardens are not normally open to the public, they will be accessible for one day only at the ‘Rare Plant Fair’, held on 17th April 2016.

birtley pepperpotOrganised by Rare Plant Fair, ( the very best selection of unusual, uncommon and unforgettable plants will be available to purchase from a selection of hand-picked specialist growers and nurseries. Stands include Blooming Wild Plants, Butterfly Cottage Garden Plants, Pepperpot Nursery, Wildwood Nursery and many more.

All of the specialists attending have extensive knowledge of their plant collections, so it’s a great place to seek advice you might not easily come by elsewhere. You can also pre-order plants from the individual growers to be brought to the fair for collection, so see the full list of nurseries attending here if you want to pre-order a real rarity!

birtley rare fratIf you’re an avid plant collector looking for a particular plant that can’t be found in garden centres, or just on the hunt for something new and exciting, then this event is not to be missed.

17 April 2016: 11.00 am – 4.00pm



Birtley House, Bramley, Guildford, Surrey GU5 0LB


0845 468 1368


£4.00 per adult includes the Gardens. Children under 16 Free.


Refreshments available. Well controlled dogs on short leads only.