So many plans and so much to see at one of the world’s most awarded and beautiful gardens; created by The Duchess of Northumberland for the community. Quietly lying still and calm, except for the buzzing of the bees and the melody of the birds; it awaits the delighted chatter of children and families, young and old alike; who will gradually emerge from the global Pandemic in need of calm and reassurance; wide open spaces and fresh air. Their senses arrested by the joy, colour and smells from the many flowers, artfully decorated by nature, to invite insects in to sprinkle the pollen. All this with the fresh sounds of the water features, The Grand Cascade, the fountains and streams, with isolated and mindful resting areas dotted around the 12 acre site. It could not be a more momentous time to celebrate the 20th birthday of The Alnwick Garden, celebrating it’s poignant 20th year in 2020 during a global Pandemic
To celebrate the milestone, The Duchess embarked on a journey to create a never before seen film; documenting the journey with all the highs and lows from the day the 1st Phase of the Garden was opened by HRH The Prince of Wales, to the planning, hard work and daunting challenges prior. From the design to the build, the enormous task of funding and planning, the documentary is emotionally charged, fascinating, drawing you in as you want to see what the next high point or hurdle lies ahead.
The documentary is all the more poignant by the death of The Duchess’ right hand man and Project Director Ian August in 2016. A trusted confidant, Ian August was by her side throughout.
In an affection tribute to the work of Ian August, the film was written and produced by his son, Simon August. Originally due to be projected on to the castellated Water Tower in The Garden, to be seen and enjoyed by the many thousands of visitors to enjoy across the summer, the Making of The Alnwick Garden has been made available to watch on-line on The Alnwick Garden website www.alnwickgarden.com or at their Facebook page @alnwickgarden to share around the region, UK and world.
The Duchess of Northumberland said,”I always knew that people would only really ever understand The Garden’s impact by being here, coming and seeing it for themselves, absorbing and delighting in all that there is. I hope this film will give everyone a chance to do just that, until we can open our gates once again”.
The Duchess speaks frankly of the difficulties faced in overcoming opposition at every turn. The vision and determination to ensure that the message was that this was not her garden, not the Alnwick Castle’s garden, but a registered charity and worldwide visitor attraction, proudly for the North East of England, but also the world. She talks of her vision of a garden whose impact could only be understood by a visit in person, and a garden which would only ever come to life when it was full of children, playing against a backdrop of a tea-dance in The Pavilion and the Drop In Centre, full of people sharing team cakes, puzzles and friendship. A garden that would change lives for the better, a garden built for people. A garden that has something for everyone, whether they be 8 or 88 and a garden of firsts.