ENGLAND: Essex – Capel Manor College

Bullsmoor Lane, Enfield EN1 4RQ

t 01803 697500


Capel Manor College
Photograph Roger Day

The Collection

Capel Manor is a horticultural college set in a 30-acre estate that was first established way back in the 13th century. The gardens are extensive and include many different themes, a number of which are award-winning as you might expect give the college’s sphere of teaching.

The Display House includes a collection of cacti and succulents which was set up in about 2010 with the help of members from the local BCSS branch who worked with students to transform an overgrown greenhouse into a desert display area. This meant breaking through the concrete base of the greenhouse to get more depth, and adding five tons of new soil with three different mixes for the various plant types.

Many of the cacti were donated by BCSS members, particularly mature specimens which could no longer be housed in private collections. The original planting area has been extended and a range of predominantly African succulents added. In addition, part of the greenhouse is now devoted to Australian arid plants.

The gardens are open to the public every day during the summer (weekdays only from November to February, but please check the website) and the greenhouse is well worth a visit.

Nearest BCSS Branch

Lea Valley: www.leavalley.bcss.org.uk 

Meetings are held in Room D7 at Capel Manor College. Please see the branch website for meeting dates and programme.

A Member’s View

This is a modest but well-presented collection of cacti and succulents, and the gardens themselves are worthy of a special visit, not least because as a horticultural college some of the displays are truly wonderful.

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