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Monday, 1 October, 2001, 12:05 GMT 13:05 UK
Duchess spends 15m on garden
The Alnwick Castle estate in Northumberland
A 15m garden dreamed up by the Duchess of Northumberland has been completed after five years' work.

The garden has been created at Alnwick Castle, which has been the ancestral home of the duke's family for seven centuries.

The duchess believes the project, whose first phase opens to the public on Monday, will create jobs in the North East and will become a visitor attraction for the area.

There are more than 65,000 flowers and shrubs planted, with varieties of plant from across Europe.

Water gardens

The central attraction of the garden is a cascading water feature, which curves and courses between trees and shrubs.

Leading Belgian garden makers, Jacques and Peter Wirtz, designed the 26-acre site.

The result is said to be one of the most ambitious gardens for decades, set in grounds landscaped in the 19th Century by Capability Brown.
Alnwick Gardens workmen
Workmen have started on the second garden phase

The duchess said: "No gardens of this scale and ambition have been undertaken in Britain during this century.

"And no gardens will have quite such a magical effect on those who visit them."

Phase two of the garden will feature 25 more water areas.

Work is already under way on the latest developments, with scores of workmen on site.

The Duke of Northumberland put 5m in to the trust set up to build the gardens, with the rest was collected through fundraising.


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See also:

04 Feb 99 | UK
Garden for the 21st century
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