Shuttleworth Swiss Garden
Now that winter is drawing to a close and the weather is improving slightly, we paid a visit to the Swiss Garden at the Shuttleworth Collection in Bedfordshire. The gardens provide all year round interest, with many structural features, lakes, grottos and many evergreen shrubs and rare trees. Of particular interest was the sweet smelling sarcococca, winter flowering honeysuckle and the decorative displays of catkins on the garrya elliptica. The gardens are very sheltered so make for a very pleasant walk in winter time and look particularly fine under a layer of snow. Unfortunately we were a little too early for the gardens famed displays of spring bulbs, which were only just peeping through.
The main attraction at the site is a vintage aircraft and veteran vehicle collection located in the old hangars alongside the grass airfield of the Old Warden Aerodrome. Many of vintage aeroplanes and biplanes (dating from 1912 onwards) are still in full working order, with exhibitions and flying displays taking place in the summer months. The majority of the collection was the life's work of Richard Ormonde Shuttleworth (1909 to 1940), a pioneer aviator and racing driver.
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