Bath time for the birches at Marwood Hill

Joseph Bulmer

Country gardens get an unusual spring clean

SPRING cleaning has taken on a new meaning at the Marwood Hill Gardens, near Barnstaple.

Volunteers have been busy giving the silver birches their annual pre-season scrub down to get them looking their best in time for the garden’s official re-opening next Tuesday.

“The silver birches in the gardens are always much admired for their beautiful white bark, but they do need a clean up in the early spring to remove the mould and algae that grows over the winter,” explained property manager Patricia Stout.

“We have about 25 birches that we clean every year. They are in a prominent position in the gardens by the lake and they look stunning after the bark is scrubbed.

“We do like to give these elegant trees a bit of a make-over in the early spring, and get them looking great for our visitors.

“We have a huge number of beautiful trees in the garden, but luckily they don’t all need cleaning. Scrubbing the birch trees is actually quite hard work and we’re extremely grateful to our team of volunteers who give up so much time to help us.”

For more information about the gardens, telephone (01271) 342528 or visit