Re-designed garden gives new lift to pub

PUBLISHED: 12:05 27 July 2006 | UPDATED: 11:56 04 May 2010

Landlady Kim Baxter with her dogs Paddy and Murphy.

Landlady Kim Baxter with her dogs Paddy and Murphy.

WITH the long summer evenings looking set to continue, the recently re-designed garden at the West End pub in Ely is the ideal place to spend them. Since taking over the pub three and a half years ago, Steve and Kim Baxter have transformed the garden fro

WITH the long summer evenings looking set to continue, the recently re-designed garden at the West End pub in Ely is the ideal place to spend them.

Since taking over the pub three and a half years ago, Steve and Kim Baxter have transformed the garden from a nondescript back yard into a walled, Mediterranean-style garden, complete with a terracotta colour scheme and a wealth of plants.

Mrs Baxter said the effort put into the garden is part of the couple's wider commitment to their customers.

"We concentrate on making the pub comfortable for our customers and this extends to the garden - we keep it very clean and we want people to relax here."

She said the garden's relatively secluded location means that many people don't know it's there.

"I think many of the people who wander past don't realise what's behind the wall," she said.

Much of the effort put into the garden has been from her husband, she said, as well as Littleport's Branching Out charity, which put together the pub's outdoor furniture.

The organisation provides training, support and work experience for people with learning difficulties, and many members of the group built the pub's benches, and a large pergola - inspired by a trip to Spain - to provide shade when the sun becomes too intense.

Mrs Baxter praised the work of the charity and said she wished to thank the group for its efforts.

Originally from Bishop's Stortford, the couple fell in love with the pub and the area after a visit with family.

"The people are just so friendly and people always have time for you," Mrs Baxter said.

"We try to run the pub as a home and our sole purpose is the enjoyment of our customers - everything we do is about that.

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