The Gardens of Easton Lodge will feature an exhibition by artist Jane Frederick at an open day this month.

Jane's work will be on display on Sunday, May 19, along with nature activities for the whole family.

As an artist in residence for Essex Gardens Trust, Jane worked closely with gardeners, archivists and curators to explore 'old garden magic' at six historic gardens in Essex, including Easton Lodge.

Dunmow Broadcast: Optical artwork will be on display at the Gardens of Easton LodgeOptical artwork will be on display at the Gardens of Easton Lodge (Image: Jane Frederick)

Her resulting work explores how 'optical interventions' can draw us into gardens and bring their past into focus.

Jane's exhibition has previously been seen at Audley End in 2023, and since then she has created an extra piece specially for this exhibition.

The concept of 'old garden magic' was drawn from American author Edith Wharton's 1904 book 'Italian Villas and their Gardens', which was published just two years after Harold Peto brought inspiration from Italian gardens to Easton Lodge.

Supporting displays on previous art initiatives at the gardens will be presented by the Garden of Easton Lodge Preservation Trust's archivist.

Visitors to the gardens can also enjoy the mosaic work of Anne Schwegmann-Fielding on the refreshments tables, as well as her sculpture of the Countess of Warwick.

Children are encouraged to seek out the work of of students from the Colchester Institute of Art in the stumpery and the Japanese-style garden at the bottom of the glade, and to find the gardens' elephant statue.

Family-friendly nature activities include pond dipping and cordage, using materials found in the wild. Activities will be led by biologist Bridget Goldsmith and bushcraft leader Helen Payne.

Essex Bat Group will be at the gardens to help visitors understand the lives of the bats which make the area their home, and Easton Lodge staff will tell stories of the resident wildlife and the herbs in the kitchen garden.

Refreshments will be provided by volunteers from the Gardens of Easton Lodge Preservation Trust, including a selection of homemade cakes.

The gardens open at 11am and close at 5pm, with last entry at 4pm. Dogs on leads are welcome.

Tickets can be purchased in advance through the website at or direct through

Easton Lodge, in Little Easton, dates back to Tudor times. The gardens were refashioned in 1902 by Edwardian garden designer Harold Peto, for their owner Daisy Greville, the Countess of Warwick.


The Countess regularly entertained guests at the Easton Lodge, including the 'Marlborough House set', which included her lover the Prince of Wales before he ascended to the throne as King Edward VII.

During the war, the gardens were used by the US Army Air Force and the RAF, after which they fell into disrepair.

Much of the trust's restoration work to date has surrounded the Peto inheritance, including restoring the balustrade around the large lilypond in the Peto Italian garden and the reconstruction of Peto's treehouse in an old oak tree in the lime wood.

In addition to monthly Sunday open days the gardens are open weekly from 11am to 3pm on Thursdays, with no need for advance tickets.