Jan Robertson organises a series of outing to various gardens. This visit in June was a 4 day event. These pictures record the event.
If you see your picture & would like your name(s) & your collegues to be recorded under it contact the WebMaster and explain your wishes.
If for any reason a picture does not load, Press "Ctrl" and hold down, then "F5" on your keyboard to "Force Refresh your ISP's cashe".
WORCESTER GARDEN TRIP
Photograph by John Robson
It was drizzling rain as we gathered at Morrisons on Tuesday morning 9th June, with an ominous forecast for the days to come. But by the time our driver Paul delivered us safely to Hidcote Manor Garden in the picturesque north Cotswolds, it was brightening up. This National Trust garden, divided into numerous rooms, all immaculately tended and weed free, gave us plenty of inspiring ideas to recreate back home. The planting combinations in these rooms were created for maximum effect. Designed in 1948 by American Major Lawrence Johnston, the garden combined old roses, unusual plants & trees from around the world.
All photographs by Harry Bacon
We left Hidcote thinking it couldn't get any better, but we were wrong. A short drive brought us to Kiftsgate Court. In it's stunning position overlooking a semi-circular pond, with a backdrop of the beautiful Cotswold countryside beyond, this garden was a delight. Plants collected from throughout the world graced the upper terraces in harmonious colour schemes. These interconnecting rooms, created by 3 generations of women had a softer, relaxing feel. Magnificent peonies, mixed borders, fountains, statues and a rose garden whichincluded their own amazingly rampant Rosa filipes 'Kiftsgate'. Masses of tiny buds scrambling right to the top of the trees, were not quite ready to burst into bloom. A steep descent through shrubs and trees led down to the pond and sheltered lower gardens. Having partaken of cream tea in their tea rooms (please see Dave C for details of where to get the best cakes) we headed for Worcester and our hotel on the edge of the canal. Fownes was a former Glove Factory, so the stark Victorian mill style building outside, belied the comfortably converted hotel interior, serving good food.
Day 2 saw us off to Hampton Court Gardens (no not THAT one!) in Herefordshire. 1,000 acres set around the early 15th century castle founded by King Henry. The weather didn't co-operate today though, so Jan organised tours of the castle to dry off, which was a super bonus. Interior mainly made over in Victorian style, had been appropriately refurnished more recently by American millionaire owner. Formal gardens,kitchen garden, maze and sunken water garden complete with waterfall, were enclosed in rolling parkland.
How glad we were that the weather cleared up for the afternoon at Westonbury Mill Water Gardens. What a unique place - 3 acres of watery wonderland designed and created by owner Richard Pim. Bridges over streams, ponds, bog gardens, a water-spouting tower and an amazing folly built with walls of wine bottles! This garden was featured by Monty Don on Gardeners World and in the Daily Telegraph. We lunched in their award winning tea rooms in 2 shifts (was if here Dave?), and wandered happily through this relaxing garden.
Thursday morning we visited the lovely Spetchley Park Gardens, only 3 miles from Worcester . This largely unaltered Victorian Paradise, owned by the Berkeley family for over 400 years, had been created by successive generations of the family. Superb roses and more of those enormous peonies which seem to thrive in all the gardens here, along with a wide variety of plants, made up the borders running around the outside of the walled gardens. Within the walls were the kitchen garden and millennium gardens, and beyond itfountains, statues, formal hedged planting and lawns. We wandered down to the lake, or just sat in thecourtyard and had lunch or tea and cake - WOT us!
The afternoon was free to explore Worcester, so while the shop-a-holics did their thing, others took a guided tour from the Guildhall via the Cathedral to the archway spire (2nd tallest in UK). Peregrin Falcons had chosen the gantry below the spire to breed and the RSPB had set up telescopes to view the fledglings. It was a super tour, which gave a real insight into this ancient city, its history and hidden 'treasures'. Mike had devised a gardening quiz to occupy us on the coach, and that evening the joint winners were presented with their prizes of plants. The evening was rounded off with a showing of the film 'Mamma Mia'.
On our final morning we visited Coughton Court near Alcester. Home of the Throckmoiton family for 600 years, the castle was full of the treasures of this Catholic family, who had close connections with the Gunpowder plot. The grounds with its 2 churches, was created and is still maintained by the family, and had a lake, riverside walk, orchards, formal gardens and vegetables. The award winning walled gardens were stunning. After enjoying lunch in the courtyard, it was sadly time to journey back to Maldon.
Thanks to Jan and Mike for organising such a relaxing trip, with every garden spectacularly different.
Report by Mave S.
Thank you Jan for arranging such a pleasent trip.
Click here to go back to the TOP of this page.
To go back to the U3A Past Events Page, click below.
© Maldon U3A 2009
Last revised: 25 June 2009.