The Gardens of Froyle Place

Harold Horn's diariesFrom the fascinating diaries of Harold F.Horn we learn a lot about the running of a large country house.

Harold Horn took up his position as Head Gardener at Froyle Place on Sunday 27th May, 1928. He was given one day to look round the property by Colonel Innes, who was the tenant at the time, and then it was down to work on the Monday. Mr Horn had four gardeners working under him - George, Bill, John and Charles. Sadly, he never mentions their surnames, but I have the feeling that Charles was the youngest, as the only job he ever seems to be doing, according to Mr Horn, is turning the manure!! Harold, at this time a bachelor, seemed to have settled in well. He was asked to umpire the races at the Froyle Fête and was invited to tea on Sunday afternoons by different ladies in the village. On July 29th he took the day off to marry Hilda, but was back at work the very next day.
The diaries were loaned to the Froyle Archive by Mr Horn’s sons, Derek and Colin. The books are much more than diaries as they contain the ‘Plans & Records of Froyle Place Gardens’. On one particular occasion he propagated 1,260 violas and 900 calceolarian. His job not only included growing the plants and looking after the garden, but he and his men were also in charge of decorating the house with flowers and packing boxes of fresh vegetables for the family to take on holidays to Scotland.

The melon house at Froyle PlaceHarold was very keen on melons and won several prizes for Colonel Innes in local shows. The picture (right) shows the melon house at Froyle Place during the time Harold Horn was there.