“If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.”

― Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

A letter from our CEO, Edward Workman –

What a year it has been. Amidst so much uncertainty, the one thing that has remained constant throughout – that we could always depend upon – is the garden. ‘The outdoors’ has taken on a new meaning, becoming the principal place for social interaction. I am sure many of you, like me, have never had so many conversations over the garden wall, in the street or at the park. The simple pleasure of a walk in nature has never meant so much to so many. The birds haven’t got louder, but we are all listening more carefully.

Diversity, harmony and adaptability can all be found in the garden. Perhaps this year, more than any other, we should take a moment to pause and reflect on these words.

2020 has challenged us to try new things. We welcomed members to our first outdoor events – Garden Lates in summer and Apple Day in autumn. We started delivering veg boxes to those isolating, which quickly grew to include breads, meats, cheeses and treats made by our chefs. When we couldn’t gather staff and friends for Fire Night, we found a new way to celebrate – making our Live TV debut.

I am incredibly fortunate to lead an organisation with many talented individuals, who have shown amazing flexibility to navigate restrictions, closures and re-openings, and have done so without wavering in their commitment to give a warm welcome. I thank them for their fortitude, hard work, and endless smiles, and especially for the support and comradery they have shown one another. 

Whether you have visited the garden, stayed at the hotel or followed our activity online, I hope The Newt has provided some comfort and joy this year. We have certainly been fortunate to have the support of so many loyal friends, and for this I give my heartfelt thanks.

There is plenty to look forward to next year, with new openings such as the Beezantium and The Farmyard. We have been busy working on a programme of tours, workshops and experiences for added seasonal enjoyment, and you’ll be hearing a lot more from our talented gardeners, growers, chefs, bakers, cheesemakers, butchers and farmers.

From the team and I, we wish you the very best for 2021 and we look forward to seeing you in the Garden.