Coach Trips 2021
Details of the coach trips arranged for 2021 will appear here with links to the booking forms when arrangements are confirmed.
Norwell Nurseries, Newark and Belton House (NT) - September 2018
Packwood House (NT) and Winterbourne Gardens - August 2018
Meadow Farm Nursery and Morton Hall Gardens - July 2018
Croome Court - September 2017
Hemingford Abbots Flower Festival - June 2017
Hanbury Hall and Gardens and Stonehouse Cottage Gardens - June 2016
Wightwick Manor and Gardens and Castle Bromwich Hall and Gardens - August 2016
Chenies Manor Gardens and Plant Fair - July 2016
Kirtling Towers, Newmarket and Lode Gardens, Cambridge - July 2011
Richard Ayres gave a talk including a description of the walled garden at Kirtling Towers at a recent meeting so we were keen to see the garden for ourselves.
The first challenge of the day was for our coach driver, Jeff, to negotiate a more than 90° turn into the drive followed by a squeeze through a farm gate to enter the parking area. Then we ourselves had to negotiate the plant sale and many wallets suffered some damage.
Kirtling Tower itself has a moat on three sides. The garden of five acres was created nine years ago. The main features were a secret garden, the walled garden and a cutting garden. There was also an original Tudor walk.
Left: A view of Kirtling Tower
Middle: A pond and water feature
Right: The Winter Garden
We were pleased to find that the church was open for refreshments.
Then we moved on to Lode where we viewed four gardens, including that of Richard Ayres, which were open under the National Gardens Scheme. Richard’s garden was planted with bold groups of herbaceous plants viewed from impeccable grass paths creating an element of mystery and delight.
Another was overflowing with roses and clematis set against a vegetable garden edged with lavender and sage and a wild flower spiral.
These contrasted with two recently developed gardens, one displaying shrubs and trees around a fine lawn and the other was a formal garden with an intricate design formed from box, yew and pleached lime.
Hill Close Gardens and Mill Gardens, Warwick - August 2011
Hill Close Gardens are survivals of Victoria gardens once used by townsfolk who lived above their businesses and wanted to escape from the town centre. Owners came here after work and on Sundays to tend their flowers, fruit and vegetables. We had a guided tour of the sixteen remaining individual plots. See www.hillclosegardens.com for more information.
One of the expertly restored summerhouses, the cosy interior of one of the summerhouses and Flowers and vegetables in a restored plot.
The Mill Gardens are a half-acre informal cottage garden that lies in a superb setting beneath the walls of Warwick Castle beside the River Avon. It is a garden of winding paths that lead through a delightful series of plantings with an abundance of plants, shrubs and trees. Around every corner there are dramatic views of the Castle, a medieval bridge, the Castle Mill and the river.
Mill Gardens Cottage One of many superbly planted borders Warwick Castle from Mill Gardens
Norwell Nurseries, Newark and Newstead Abbey, Nottingham - September 2011
Norwell Nurseries belongs to Dr Andrew Ward who has spoken at our meetings. He began our visit to the nursery by showing a collection of plants that were of particular interest before giving us a tour of the gardens where we could see plants that were available in the nursery in their natural setting. After Helen, Andrew’s wife, had served refreshments a long queue formed as we purchased many plants. See www.norwellnurseries.co.uk for a comprehensive website.
In the afternoon on our way home we called in at Newstead Abbey Gardens. The Abbey was once the home of the notorious poet, Lord Byron. The gardens of over 300 acres consist of lakes, ponds and waterfalls, a rose garden, a 720-foot long summer border, a Japanese garden and a Spanish garden and more. See www.newsteadabbey.org.uk for more information.
The Abbey The rear of the Abbey The Walled Garden