Page last updated at 08:18 GMT, Thursday, 30 April 2009 09:18 UK

Elizabethan garden ready to open


Gardens recreate Elizabethan age

A garden originally built by the Earl of Leicester to win the heart of Elizabeth I, has been recreated at Kenilworth Castle in Warwickshire.

The site fell into disrepair after the death of Robert Dudley, who first walked there with the Queen in 1575.

The garden, which opens to the public on Saturday, was restored by following details published in a letter by an Elizabethan gardener.

It includes an 18ft-high marble fountain and a gilded aviary.

'Old-fashioned varieties'

The project - which has involved archaeologists, historians, craftsmen and gardeners - has taken five years to complete.

Head gardener Fiona Sanders said: "I can see lots of plants that many people have in their gardens anyway.

"Elizabethans would also have had these, but one of their main interests was the smell of plants.

"With our carnations nowadays we seem to have bred out the smell a little bit.

"So we've gone for the very old-fashioned varieties."

English Heritage said gardens were "hugely important" in Elizabethan times as "places to walk and places to talk".

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