The Treasure family has been at Stockton Bury since 1884, and in the generations that followed it evolved from a family farm into a relaxing space which has ranked among The Times’ Top 20 UK Gardens.
By transforming the 4 acres of land into a highly acclaimed haven in their earlier years, Raymond Treasure and Gordon Fenn have handed down an incredible legacy to Raymond’s niece – accomplished writer, and editor at The English Garden, Tamsin Westhorpe.
Now Stockton Bury’s Director, Tamsin joins Liz & Leila to retell the story behind their family’s passion for tending to such a delightful property, the trepidation that came with opening to the public, and commitment to crafting a comforting space for so many passionate visitors.
This episode covers:
- How Tamsin’s uncle transformed the gardens into the spectacle that they’ve become
- Adapting to the intimidating prospect of public visitors in a personal space
- Raymond Treasure’s desire to keep the garden in the family above all else
- Managing the difficult task of encouraging repeat visitors to the gardens
“I was fortunate that my family saw horticulture as a viable option. Actually back then it was quite unusual for them to encourage a girl to go into that industry.” – 8:00 – Tamsin Westhorpe
“I’m not sure my son will be a gardener. He’s very much into theatre and singing and drama, but he loves showing people around the garden. He’s been really important to me when it comes to social media, because he’s not scared of it.” – 10:15 – Tamsin Westhorpe
“I think what’s quite lovely is that this was not planned as a business. It was not planned as a diversification for the farm. But ultimately, in the end, it might be the one thing that keeps the farm going, and keeps the farm in the family.” – 16:20 – Tamsin Westhorpe
“I suppose it was quite a shock when they opened the gardens to the public really. I remember having Sunday lunch in the house as a family with my grandmother, and seeing people peering through the windows – that was odd.” – 24:30 – Tamsin Westhorpe
“What we want to do is keep younger people coming in and have the garden more as an experience, because there aren’t the plant-people around. There’s gardeners around, there’s people passionate about their garden, but now there’s people looking for a place to relax.” – 31:40 – Tamsin Westhorpe
“Writing was sort of an accident for me, it wasn’t something I’d planned to do at all. I was just fortunate that opportunities came up and I took them.” – 38:40 – Tamsin Westhorpe
“I think now more than ever before that people, during this pandemic, are seeing gardens in a different way and use their outside spaces in a different way.” – 45:40 – Tamsin Westhorpe
“I think you have to remember why you start your business in the first place, and not forget what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.” – 54:00 – Tamsin Westhorpe