Bedford gardens to open after two centuries

Beautiful gardens created for a duke two centuries ago are to be opened to the public for the first time.

According to the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), the grounds at Woburn Abbey in Bedfordshire are to welcome visitors in celebration of their 200th anniversary.

Created for the sixth Duke of Bedford, the horticultural attraction was designed by famous 19th century landscape expert Humphry Repton.

Taking eight years to build the gardens, which were completed in 1810, his original design included a menagerie with llamas, peacocks and antelope.

However, visitors can now expect to find informally planted woodland areas and stunning gardens with a view over the Camellia Lake and the nearby village of Woburns church tower.

The Duchess of Bedford is planning to kick off the 200th anniversary celebrations next month with a weekend of gardening events taking place on May 15th and 16th.

In other horticulture news, the RHS has teamed up with the Health and Safety Executive to distribute a pocket-sized guide to using, storing and disposing of garden chemicals.