It’s that time of year again when we can’t help but look back at what has happened, and excitingly, what’s coming up next year! It’s been a busy year at Upton, and we hope you can join us in 2015 to share some more exciting moments!
January: 12 months after starting to prepare the interior of our Picture Gallery for building works, we were now preparing to open it again to put our paintings back! We also captured some beautiful reflections around Upton, and repair work started on our Mirror Pool.
February: In February we saw delicate bulbs emerge around our garden – always a reassuring sign that Spring has sprung! The Gardeners were kept busy with severe weather, the Mirror Pool filled up again after all the rain, and we opened 6 days a week again! To celebrate the opening of our Picture Gallery, we took a closer look at our collection and turned 6 of our paintings round to let visitors the chance to see the backs of them which contain quite a lot of detail we had never considered before.
March: March saw a fantastic show of narcissus in our Orchard and around the garden. For Mothering Sunday we created our 1930s beauty parlour, and had a fantastic weekend with lots of families visiting on a sunny weekend.
April: The one thing April reminds us of is the beautiful Tulips that flower all through the garden and throughout the month. Did you visit to take a look? We also said goodbye to our Lowry to Piper exhibition and welcomed Shell & the Art of Advertising, an exciting time as our exhibition programme pushes forwards. We also sold hundreds of Cadbury Easter trails!
May: In May we launched a new theme across the property to discover more stories about Lord and Lady Beartsted – Fortune and Philanthropy. In the Garden there was a spectacular start to the North Lake border with the early summer colours coming in to flower and the Wisteria and Laburnum also adding their own splashes of colour. Work started on the front of the house to give it a face lift with all the windows being painted, and we welcomed 80 volunteers from NFU Mutual to help out across the property!
June: June saw beautiful flowering in our Bog Garden, and Peonies, Lupins and Delphiniums opening up on the North Lake border. We celebrated the start of Summer at Upton with our Volunteer party on the South Lawn, and the El Greco returned from exhibition in Toledo! We had a fantastic Father’s Day with hundreds of visitors turning out to see pre-war Triumphs along the drive and Warwick University Big Band on the lawn! We also re-presented our Back Hall with stories of how the space was used in the 1930s, adding lots of extra detail for people to discover.
July: With the arrival of Summer, we opened 7 days a week in July and August, and the Gardens flourished! The herbaceous border started to bloom, the Kitchen Garden was full of produce, and our Head Gardener, Heather, was filmed for two different programmes! You will have to keep a look out to see where she appears.
August: We had a fantastic Millionaire’s weekend at Upton, as well as music and Pimms on the lawn every weekend. We had already started to look forward to 2015 behind the scenes, and August saw us put on a Research Roadshow for all those looking to help us discover more about what happened to the family, their businesses and the art collection at Upton during the 1940s.
September: At the start of the month we opened for Heritage Open Day and for the first time gave visitors the chance to see the Upton Estate on a tractor trailer ride for the first time! Our Memling went off for exhibition in Rome, while our Aster bloomed outside.
October: Fantastic October colours arrived in our Bog Garden, and Pumpkins and Squashes from our Kitchen Garden were sold and carved in the Shop. With the changing season, there was some interesting light in the house in the evenings, glistening of the paintings and the Art Deco bathroom.
November: There was still plenty of Winter colour in the gardens. We put on a Roadshow for our Volunteers to see where we had got up to in our Banking for Victory project, and started preparing for a 1930s Christmas!
December: We decorated trees, wrapped presents, and welcomed lots of visitors in December to the Christmas weekends. We had choirs and music in the Long Gallery, a Christmas Market, and lunches for the Volunteers.
If you have visited us in 2014, we hope you have enjoyed these events with us. We hope to see you in 2015 when we will introduce and present plenty of new and exciting changes!