Essex Community Foundation

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Gibberd Garden continues to blossom with local support

24th April 2017

Trustees of a Grade II listed garden gem, situated on the North Eastern edge of Harlow, are delighted to receive a grant of £8,000.

The money was donated from the John and Wenna Marks Charitable Fund which is managed by the independent charitable trust, Essex Community Foundation (ECF). 

The Gibberd garden is the creation of Sir Frederick Gibberd, an uncompromising modernist architect who was the master-planner of Harlow New Town.  Sir Frederick bought the house and 15 acre site in 1957 as his home.  He made alterations to the house and gradually created the garden over many years and until his death in 1984.  Many sculptures were bought and commissioned for the garden as well as ceramic pots and architectural pieces.  The garden is said to be one of the few outstanding examples of 20th Century garden design.

Sir Frederick had wished that the garden be used for education and recreation in perpetuity and in 1995 the Gibberd Garden Trust was formed to preserve and develop the garden for public benefit.  For more than 20 years, a team of volunteers support the gardeners to maintain and preserve the area.

Derek Hayes, a Trustee and Treasurer of the Gibberd Garden, said, “We are thrilled to receive this donation which will be used to maintain this cherished piece of Harlow history for future generations  to enjoy.”

Wenna Marks has lived in Harlow for 56 years and her late husband, John, was a Trustee of the garden.  Wenna, who is now a Trustee said, “I am so pleased to be able to give help to the garden from our charitable fund with ECF.  I know how hard all of the supporters, gardeners and the volunteers work, to keep this a peaceful and beautiful place.” 

The Gibberd Garden is open from 2pm to 6pm every Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday until 24 September. Parts of the house, the Gibberd Rooms, are open for a small extra fee on a Sunday afternoon on a timed access. To visit, get involved or give support please look at their website www.thegibberdgarden.co.uk.

For more information about applying to ECF for a grant, call 01245 356018 to speak with a member of the grants team.