THE BEATLES, Muhammad Ali and Lawrence of Arabia will be among many famous faces welcoming people to a south Warwickshire garden.
The Dorsington garden belonging to the late millionaire publisher and poet Felix Dennis, featuring over 50 life-size bronze sculptures, is opening its gates to the public.
The usually private ‘Garden of Heroes & Villains’ created by Felix will open to the public on Saturday May 27 to raise funds for The Heart of England Forest charity.
Felix, whose vision it was to create a 30,000 acre forest in the heart of England, a place of natural beauty for future generations to enjoy and wildlife to thrive, would have turned 70 this month. He died in 2014, but the project continues and 1.6 million trees have been planted since 1996.
Head forester Stephen Coffey said: “It’s been a fantastic planting season, and we’ve been so busy that the extraordinary milestone nearly passed us by!”
Chief executive Beth Brook added:: “A huge thank you goes to our planting team and growing group of wonderful volunteers who even took on Storm Doris earlier in the season, planting 4,045 trees in just one day.”
Felix began commissioning bronze sculpture in the mid 1990s and set about creating a private showcase garden at his home containing specimen trees, ponds, streams, a yew maze and dry stone walls to house his collection showing ‘freeze-frame’ moments in the life of the characters depicted – including Muhammed Ali, Vincent van Gogh, Albert Einstein, Bruce Lee, Billie Holiday, William Shakespeare, King Kong and more.
Sitting alongside the garden is Felix’s final commission, The Shard Garden: A field of poetry – inscribed on 45 large shards embedded in the ground, surrounding his bronze figure.
Events manager Toby Fisher said: “We look forward to welcoming families on Felix’s birthday to enjoy the garden he created, admire the art he commissioned, and help build on his legacy of planting tomorrow’s great native woodland.”
The garden will be open from 10am until 5pm and with free parking.
Entry is £6.50 (+fees) in advance or £9 on the day (children under 16 years free). Dogs on leads welcome.
Visit www.heartofenglandforest.com/openday for advance tickets and further details.