Timeline of Burrow Farm Gardens

Burrow Farm Gardens has been created over the last 55 years through the determination and vision of Mary Benger.  The gardens has always had a family feel with son Tony Benger running his landscaping firm from the gardens and Mary is joined in the garden by grandson Michael.  

Below is a timeline of how this wonderful thirteen acre garden was created from scratch in 55 years through the determination of its owner:

1959 – John and Mary move to Burrow Farm to build up a dairy herd

1966 – Mary started to turn old Roman clay pit into garden with the help of her four young children

1974 – The garden now stretched to 4 acres and is opened for the first time just for the month of May

1975 – Garden opened under National Garden Scheme again during May

1983 – John retired from dairy farming

1985 – The Pergola Walk was built to make use of a very narrow strip of land

1993 – The current house replaced the timber and asbestos bungalow that was there when John and Mary moved to the farm.

1994 – Courtyard and Terrace Gardens created around the new house

1998-2000 – The Millennium Garden created over a period of two years.

2000 – Garden expanded further with the planting of Cornus and Azaleas around a new large pond

2002 – Traditional thatched summerhouse built to overlook pond created 2 years before

2006 – Craft Shop and Conference room built

2007 – Azalea Glade planted having removed a sea of brambles

2008 – View point walk created to provide stunning views of the garden and surrounding countryside

2009 – Anniversary Garden made to celebrate 50 years at Burrow Farm for John and Mary. The beds on either side of the sunken path are a blaze of colour during late summer and autumn.

2010 – Two new wildlife ponds created in the wildflower meadow creating a haven for wildlife

2014-15 – Over 250 wild orchids dug up from the lawn and moved to the wildflower meadow which sees constant improvement.

2015 – Major renovations to the Tea Room and the start of John Horsey Horticulture Classes at Burrow Farm Gardens

2016 – 3 new walls built in the garden including big wall at entrance of garden planted with alpines on the top

2017 – New hard paths added to the garden improving access around the garden for everyone

2019 – Renovation of the Terrace Garden with new cobbled paths and reclaimed brick edging

2020 – New Rhododendron bed planted at the top of the wildflower meadow

2021 – New Summerhouse built at top of wildflower meadow

2021 – Burrow Farm Gardens named The Nations Favourite Public Garden in a competiton run by The English Garden and NGS

Burrow Farm Featured on DVD at the Heart of the Garden & Available to Buy Online

In 2008 Burrow Farm Gardens and its creator Mary Benger were featured in The Heart of the Garden DVD and book.

This wonderful DVD tells of the creation of Burrow Farm Gardens with insight from Mary herself. Both the DVD and the book are available to purchase online or in the Gift Shop at Burrow Farm Gardens and feature seven other gardens from the South West.