2016 GARDENING PROGRAMME
April 20th-Dunham Massey
May 18th-Ness Gardens
June 15th-Arley Hall
July 20th-Blueball Cottage
August 17th Biddulph Grange
September 21st-Quarry Bank
October 19th- Walter's
Gardening restarted in March with a pleasant morning at Beryl’s house for seven of the group, who liked the warm lower garden with its sprinkling of daffodills, hellebores, and crocus. Some shrubs had become slightly large and were now difficult for Beryl to prune – a common problem as we all get older!
For our April meeting, nine visited Dunham Massey on a gorgeous day, and saw the early colourful signs of Spring. The gardens did not disappoint, and as well as masses of daffodils, erythroniums and anemones particularly caught the eye. The early blossoming trees and fresh green leaves sparkled in the sunshine, and the new rose garden was becoming a sun trap – even before the roses were out! It is a boon that Dunham is so flat and easy to get around, with judiciously placed benches, and now a choice of two eating places! Definitely a worthwhile trip.
Six of us spent a day at Arley, full of interest with so much to see and the famous double herbaceous borders already nearing their best. We needed a lunch break to refresh us before we finished our tour. Definitely a worthwhile trip.
The six who went to Bluebell Cottage Gardens were bowled over by the improvements Sue Beesley had made, especially the massed perennials in the former top lawn. It made for a very pleasant visit, even if we didn’t see Sue herself (at Tatton Show where she got a Silver Gilt to add to her medal collection). We all enjoyed the day.
This visit was in ideal weather, with the Dahlia Walk already showing plenty of colour. Sadly, grandchildren duties and a recently arranged travel visit, depleted our numbers; a shame since there was so much variety to see and a big contrast with other gardens. On the other hand, the plethora of steps might have worried some of our group.
We had a very good attendance at Irene’s house, and after admiring her attractive and well-manicured flower beds, we were entertained by an interesting talk by Deirdre Nichols on the creation of a Staffordshire garden opened under the Yellow Garden Scheme. Deirdre showed lots of pictures to illustrate the progress and development of the garden near Wetley Rocks. She was thanked and presented with a pot plant for her fine presentation.
Several of us visited Quarry Bank and were impressed by the continuing improvements to the path layout by the National Trust gardeners and volunteers, and particularly to the upper garden. A long colourful flower bed of annuals surprised us by its height and variety, and a new upper entrance and refreshment building meant we could have our cup of tea at the top and meander down to lunch at the bottom!
Nine met at Walter’s and spent some time viewing the large collection of Michaelmas daisies mainly in varied blues, together with the yellows of late rudbeckia and helianthus, and a surprising number of other late flowers. Earlier, next year’s programme had been discussed and both that and the annual lunch venue agreed.