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Gardening Group 2014
MAY - VISIT TO LEA GARDENS
Seven travelled to Lea Gardens near Matlock, and after a lovely sunny scenic drive through Derbyshire, were bowled over by the gorgeous Rhododendron garden. Sheltered in a former millstone quarry, and by tall trees, is a unique collection of rhododendrons and azaleas in a myriad of colours. Particularly striking were the banks of deciduous azaleas with their powerful scent, the large flower heads of late rhododendrons, and the lush acers and dwarf evergreens in the pools area.
JUNE – STRAWBERRIES AND CREAM AT BETTY’S
Strawberries and cream, sparkling wine, hot sunshine, and an attractive garden to sit in – at Betty’s house - made a lovely change from our usual visits, and was much appreciated by the 10 who attended. Definitely a first class event.
JULY – VISIT TO DOROTHY CLIVE GARDENS
It was a lovely relaxing garden to walk in for the seven who travelled in two cars into this Staffordshire garden, originally created by an Army colonel for his ailing wife. It was easy to get lost in the many paths, whilst admiring the unusual flowers and shrubs, or exploring the walks in the quarry garden (DVDs showing how colourful this could look in late Spring). Our two sub-groups finally met up again in the pleasant tea rooms, with tasty home made sandwiches and cakes, whilst Walter tried to define the changes made since his last visit. A visit of almost 5 hours on a balmy bright day showed how much there was to see in this excellent, very English, garden.
AUGUST – VISIT TO ABBEYWOOD
Only four were able to dodge various commitments, but were lucky to see the outstanding Abbeywood gardens, near Delamere. Only opened to the public in the last 5 years, and still being extended in striking new ways, they were very colourful, and displayed lots of novel ideas.
SEPTEMBER – BARBECUE AT JOHN’S
Eight of us were royally entertained by John Ainscoe, and his barbecue assistant. We dined on tasty hotdogs and burger buns, followed by cake and ice cream, and washed them down with Bucks Fizz, All this while we sunbathed on John’s warm patio, and admired his colourful home grown rudbeckia and cosmos, plus some attractive dahlias. We even found the time to discuss our winter lunch – to be at Platform One, Romiley, and next year’s programme! It was a great meeting, thanks to John – although we know that Manchester rains will return eventually, and future meetings will be more low key.
OCTOBER – VISIT TO TATTON
Six went in two groups to Tatton Park gardens, and enjoyed leisurely strolls on a warm cloudy day. Obviously, on a mid-October day, flowers were sometimes on their last legs in the borders, but trees and bushes were starting to change colour, and made for pleasant walking in the woods. The piece-de-resistance is always the Japanese Garden, and this did not disappoint. The small leaved maples were a myriad shades of gold, pink and orange, and made the trip well worth while. Visits inside were possible for a small charge, but an hour standing to hear a long information talk seemed a bit heavy, so we opted instead for comfy seats admiring the views, particularly nice in the formal area before the house. It made a very pleasant end to our year of garden visits, and with our annual lunch moved on to January, to our last event of the year.