The gardens contain well over 3,000 shrubs and trees, some of which were planted when the village was first built. We know this because of the thickness of the trunks . Many of them are of bonsai style, in scale with the models; but aficionados rightly point out that they are not strictly “bonsai”, but skilfully trimmed and gradually reshaped standard garden plants.

Bekonscot is a riot of colour during the spring and summer; our little towns framed by thousands of bedding and herbaceous plants. Of course to a miniature person these would be of vast proportions – but it must be remembered that we are a model village set within a garden and scale is not always required everywhere – it is sometimes rather nice to enjoy a bright mass of colour rather than worry about the scale.

An immaculate stretch of lawn runs the whole length of the village, which was originally part of the meadow from which Bekonscot was created. It is known as ‘Broadwalk Lawn’, because when Mr Callingham first built Bekonscot, he would walk through the village twice daily on his way to the railway station and back.

Several years ago a maze was introduced using the honeysuckle Baggesen’s Gold (Lonicer Nitida). The curator at Hampton Court kindly sent an outline of their maze, and this was used to create a copy in miniature for Bekonscot, which is situated near the small village of Hanton. We have therefore called our maze ‘Hanton Court Maze’.

We’re often asked how we keep the miniature plants trimmed. The answer – it’s a labour of love carried out by our two full time gardeners who trim the plants with secateurs into miniature shapes and mow the grass with full-sized mowers. Some of the farms have large areas of fields separated by metal fencing – each piece has to be removed and replaced each week to cut the grass. That’s why some of the newer models include artificial grass which protects the figures and is necessary in awkward places or on sports pitches where we need painted lines.

Watering is no longer a problem for us. We’ve installed a network of pop-up sprinklers (you’ll see them hidden on the top of camouflaged pipes sticking up out of a few bushes) which water the gardens in the very early hours of the morning when required, using the water stored in the “Main Lake”. Around a quarter of the water drains overnight so the large variety of fish that are stocked in the lake are unaffected.

The model village itself constitutes approximately half of the entire 1.75 acre site and our gardeners are kept busy maintaining all the perimeter hedging, fencing and outbuildings – both in and out of the public eye.

If you see any of the gardening team on your visit and you’d like to know more about the plants that they care for, then do go and ask them.