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Award winning gardens - Blooming Marvellous!

North West in Bloom Award Winners 2015 -

Gibbon Bridge has 23 acres of award winning gardens which are overlooked by the restaurant, conservatory and terrace, as well as the bedrooms in the main hotel. Our kitchen garden supplies the chefs with some of the freshest fruit, herbs and vegetables available. The gardens are one of hotel’s finest assets and have provided our guests with a great deal of enjoyment over the years. Testament to this are the awards we have received from North West In Bloom. We were winners for nine consecutive years from 1996 – 2004, then in 2009, and once again this year 2015.

However, the 23 acres of grounds have not always been as beautiful as you see them today. The farmland was in very poor condition; boggy and full of reed beds with a dyke and even the family’s duck & geese pen. It has taken a great deal of hard work, commitment and continued investment to transform it to its current state.

The original gardens were designed by Janet’s late Mother Maggie, her Uncle John and a local landscape gardener - David Singleton. The land had to be mole ploughed and drained, then beautiful lawns were created, along with a large rockery and a central pond. The borders were filled with perennial shrubs and young saplings such as chestnuts, acers, hornbeams and birch. However, within the development the two alder trees at the bottom of the garden were left to mature and now stand over 30 ft high. Robert Lowe, Head Gardener has worked on the gardens from the early days and has seen a great deal of investment and expansion over the years. New planting and projects are carefully thought out each year to attract a variety of wildlife, birds, insects etc. The creation of a number of ponds have provided a haven for newts, toads, frogs, and a variety of fish – carp, tench, chub etc. as well as nesting birds including coots, water hens and even the odd pair of Greater Spotted Woodpeckers. 

Today Grace and Ann, our resident florists still incorporate some of Maggie's favourite flowers into their displays.  Particularly sweet peas, which are grown in abundance during the summer.  

The Kitchen Gardens at Gibbon Bridge

Gibbon Bridge boasts it’s own kitchen garden, greenhouses and poly tunnels where an abundance of seasonal herbs, fruits and vegetables provide the chefs and baker with fresh produce. Traditional vegetables such as cauliflowers, carrots, beans, brussel sprouts and courgettes are grown along with garlic and endless varieties of herbs from parsley to lemon grass.

The fresh produce plays a vital role in the menus at the hotel and each year Janet, along with Head Chef - Gary and Head Gardner - Robert discuss and plan what fresh produce should be grown. Each morning the seasonal fruits and vegetables are picked and used in dishes and menus on a daily basis.

Gary comments: 

“It is a real joy to cook with such fresh produce. It makes a difference to our customers to know that everything is so seasonal and fresh on their plates.”

"quality and class without losing the old comfortable environment."

After 44 yrs in business with continued growth and customer satisfaction my wife and I know what is required to achieve this.  For many years we have had monthly visits to Janet Simpson’s GB and restaurant for meals and the occasional stay.  We have seen how with every alteration and addition Janet has always managed to keep adding a touch of quality and class without losing the old comfortable environment.  Janet has built a business to be proud of and deserves every  praise because Gibbon Bridge as seen today would not be there without the dedication and effort that she has put into it.

"a very high standard"

You have a wonderful set up here and the passion that you feel for having everything to work well and to such a very high standard is a credit to your careful and knowledgeable attention to detail.  The beautiful surroundings as in décor and well maintained gardens and the obvious delight that those who work for you at all levels have, creates a wonderful place for guests to be nurtured.  I feel very privileged to have enjoyed this week staying here.

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