Back in the autumn of 2011, the quest began to uncover parts of the garden at Overbeck’s that had been closed for over 30 years. After nine months of hard work by the garden team, a path 103 metres long has been re-opened.
The path at the National Trust house and garden follows the line of an old route through the woodland which leads to an area beloved by Otto Overbeck – his 50ft high natural rock garden. The area is particularly sheltered, even by Overbeck’s standards, and Head Gardener Cat Saunders has started planting palms and other sub tropical plants down there already.
"As I led my team through the undergrowth I didn’t know what to expect,’ says Cat, ‘but now, as well as the lost path network, we have also found evidence of the garden’s former glory – the remains of two statues owned by Otto Overbeck and made especially for the garden.
"Using Otto’s photographs we can pinpoint these fragments back to 1928 and believe one is the right foot from a statue of ‘Antinuous’ and the other a plinth of the 'Youth Suppliant', both carrying the mark of Doulton in Lambeth.
"The original entrance to the garden has been also been uncovered and the old money box for visitor’s sixpences is still visible. Children will be welcome to discover their own sixpences on 29th and 30th June when we celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the garden opening."
Assistant Property Manager, Denise Salter, says: "What was, a year ago, a supposedly impassable barrier, is now a haven of warmth and shelter. The planting of palms and other tropical plants is now underway so we can once again welcome our visitors to enjoy this beautiful part of the garden. We would like you all to come and discover your own hidden gems in this very special place."