Mad times in Swiss Garden!

The Swiss Garden, full of charming yet quirky little buildings set in Lord Ongley’s lovely undulating landscape and designed to look like the rolling green foothills of the Swiss Alps, is the perfect setting for fun and fantasy. Our very first Mad Hatter’s May Day Festival took place on Sunday 1st May, and was a resounding success, assisted by some very good weather ordered in especially by the team! Visitors enjoyed taking part in activities such as Maypole dancing and watching the Hemlock Morris dancers, were mesmerised by a card-shuffling magician and entertained by characters from Alice in Wonderland at the Mad Hatter’s tea party under the shade of our magnificent Cedar tree. Staff, volunteers and visitors alike really got into the spirit of the theme, and it was wonderful to see so many people dressed up on the day.

Over 800 people attended the event, and shrunk to Alice size to sit on the giant chair under our Floral Arch or pose with flamingos and a large ‘Drink Me’ bottle elsewhere in the garden. The Queen of Hearts reigned supreme in the Craft Marquee, and the garden was full of laughter, music and jingling bells – a magical day indeed, and one we hope to repeat next year…look out for our 2017 events programme later in the year (

alice_madhatters-2016-web  hemlock_dancers_2016-web  maypole_2016-web   alice_bottle-web