Bedford gardens open after 200 years

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Bedfordshire's Woburn Abbey is set to open the gates of its 200-year-old gardens to the public for the first time next month.

The grounds were designed by renowned 19th century Victorian landscape expert Humphry Repton at the request of the sixth Duke of Bedford, the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) reported.

They took eight years to create and were finished in 1810, originally featuring a menagerie with peacocks, llamas and antelope.

Nowadays they look quite different, with informally planted woodland added to the gardens, which look over the Camellia Lake.

However, some of Mr Repton's original features remain, including the Doric Temple, Camellia House and Heathland Garden, which have been restored recently.

The Duchess of Bedford is set to host a weekend of gardening events on May 15th and 16th to mark the beginning of the 200th anniversary celebrations.

The news comes as the RHS revealed that an important horticultural attraction in Wales has asked the Welsh Assembly for £250,000 to help it cope with anticipated funding difficulties.   - 21 April 2010
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Bedford gardens open after 200 years

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