Chelsea 2012
May 22-30th, 2012

Mon 28 May 12

Abbey House Gardens – includes guided tour by Ian Pollard

‘The WOW factor is here in abundance” Alan Titchmarsh

Abbey House Gardens in ancient Malmesbury, itself an historic place to visit. Gardening ideas, beautiful plants including the country’s largest private collection of roses, double herbaceous borders that rival Monets, to fabulous specimen trees and shrubs; all to be enjoyed in a special atmosphere.

Ian & Barbara bought Abbey House in 1994 to make it their home for their family of three children and in the autumn of 1996 decided to create a garden that might attract visitors from around the world to the historic town of Malmesbury. Ian formerly enjoyed a career in property development. Some of his most notable work is visible in London; buildings such as the Marco Polo building opposite Battersea Park by Chelsea Bridge and the Sainsbury Homebase building in Kensington. Barbara is a self confessed ‘Jack of all Trades’ listing teaching, fashion modeling, promotional, sales and marketing work on her C.V.

Both enjoy the decorative arts in all its forms and whilst Barbara grew up in a garden with a small holding Ian made his first forays into horticulture as an adult once he owned a property with land on the east side of the country.

The purchase of C16th Abbey House with an unusually large 5 acre town centre garden, fed an interest in history the couple share. Empty for 3 years after its previous owners had vacated, it needed a good deal of work and love to bring it back to the comfortable family home the Pollards knew it could be.

then a short drive to Tetbury for some shopping at the Highgrove shop so we didn’t have to do it at the gardens tomorrow, plus other wonderful little shops to visit.
Meander down the medieval cobbled Chipping Steps where, for centuries, the ‘Mop Fairs’ kept the locals gainfully employed.
Enter Tetbury’s Heritage Centre in the original Court House, featuring the story of the Gloucestershire Police Constabulary which was founded in 1839 despite a petition from the locals!
Wherever you are, you’ll see the skyline is dominated by the magnificent spire of the Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin. With one of the tallest spires in the UK, this Georgian Gothic masterpiece - together with Tetbury’s many other listed buildings - make the town a designated outstanding conservation area.



  • New Eden
  • Kids Garden
  • Plant a Row Grow a Row