VOLUNTEERS have helped a Tenbury horticultural collection come a step nearer becoming a major attraction.

A team of volunteer gardeners known as the ‘Burford House Angels’ spent Easter planting nearly 200 different clematis made up of 64 different varieties.

In the near future they will receive 108 more plants including a further 36 different varieties.

The idea is to restore Burford House Gardens to its former glory as the home of one of the premier collections of clematis in the country.

A decision has also been made that the garden will support two charities. They are Greenfingers, which has the objective of creating magic gardens at children’s hospices up and down the country, and the local St Michael’s Hospice.

People visiting the gardens and plant collection will be encouraged to make donations that will be passed on to these two good causes.

Burford House Gardens dates back half a century and has the potential to be a major visitor attraction to the area but has fallen into disrepair over recent years.

Now a consolidated bid is being made to restore it to its former glory.

It is a project that was launched in 2013 and in exchange for their labour the volunteers get the chance to get to grips with one of the great English country gardens and also get refreshments during the day.

It means that the site could become a Mecca for plant lovers from all over the country and further even oversees.

The garden that was originally created in the 1950s already has more than 300 species of clematis but has fallen into a state of neglect.

Support for the project is being given from the British Clematis Society that has provided some of the new stock. The garden that covers 15 acres on the banks of the River Teme was first laid out by John Treasure of the Ludlow based building restoration business in the 1950s.

Clematis is native to China and was planted in Japan from the 17th century before being brought to Europe in the 18th century.

There are some 300 different species in the world and in theory it is possible to have clematis in bloom throughout the year.

People keen to join the volunteers can email Paul Benson on paul@thegardenstore.ltd.uk or call 07720597982.