History of Ryton Gardens
Ryton Gardens has been the home of Garden Organic, the UK’s leading organic growing charity, since the 1980s. Back then the charity was known as the Henry Doubleday Research Association, and having outgrown its premises in Bocking in Essex the organisation made the decision to widen its horizons and moved to its present home near Ryton-on-Dunsmore in Warwickshire.
Lawrence D Hills – an organic pioneer who saw the sustainable value of gardening and growing organically, and who wanted to research and share this knowledge with the wider world, founded the charity, now Garden Organic, in 1958. Having outgrown its original grounds, Lawrence and his team wanted somewhere that they could develop to showcase organic gardening and eventually open to the public.
What visitors see today at Ryton Gardens is the culmination of this vision. Back in 1985, this 22-acre site was a bare, windy paddock containing nothing but a riding school barn and farmhouse. The gardening team at the time then worked tirelessly for a year to get on with the major task of making a garden fit for opening to the public. The ground had to be cleared of weeds; almost a mile of rabbit-proof fencing was put up around the perimeter; a big pond was dug out to attract wildlife; an underground irrigation system was installed; 5,000 hedging and tree saplings were planted; gardens were dug out and planted and paths were laid. And as well as all this, a bungalow was built, along with a new reception centre, cafe and shop. It was a truly mammoth task but the team did it and Ryton Gardens opened on 5th July 1986.
Since then the gardens have expanded, the trees and woodlands have matured, new gardens have come and others have gone, hedges have grown tall, borders have flourished, orchards have grown fruitful, plants and shrubs have flowered, and a wealth of wildlife has moved in.
25 years later and there are ten acres of fully landscaped gardens to explore. And with a Rose Garden, Bee Garden, Orchard, Children’s Garden, Herb Garden, Paradise Garden and much, much more – there’s something for every visitor to discover.
Garden Organic at Ryton Gardens
Ryton Gardens is the home of Garden Organic – the UK’s leading organic gardening charity. From offices at the site, the organisation serves over 30,000 committed members, and delivers a full range of innovative and successful projects to promote, deliver and research the benefits of organic gardening.
Garden Organic and Webbs Garden Centres at Ryton Gardens
Since 2010 Ryton Gardens has brought together Garden Organic – the national charity for organic growing – and Webbs – the Midlands’ favourite garden centre – to create a unique visitor experience in the heart of England.
Visitors to Ryton Gardens can enjoy over ten acres of organic display gardens, eat organic food in the Conservatory Cafe, shop organic in the extensive shop, as well as select from a range of green gardening products and plants in the garden centre.