‘The Gatehouse’

A selection of photos of Ruth & Matthew’s beautiful garden ‘The Gatehouse’. CABAHS members attended a lovely open evening, wandering around their garden recently, with donations in aid of the Hospice.

The Gatehouse borders
Roses (red one is WB Yeats) grown in a bed in the shape of a Tudor Rose

Afternoon tea at the Garrison Church, Woolwich

Members who came to this event on 5 June 2021 were treated to an interesting talk from Tim Barnes about the history of the Church, and the plans for the future, including a Commonwealth Garden designed by Chelsea gold medal winner Juliet Sargeant. We also saw the crypt and the beautiful mosaics. The award-winning gates feature three flowers of remembrance, the poppy, the forget-me-not (Germany) and the cornflower (France).

A visit to Hole Park

Hole Park is in Kent somewhere between Benenden and Rolveden but I warn you it is not well signposted and we drove past two entrances without seeing them, so beware! It’s not a garden for specialist plants but if you want to see a beautiful garden set in parklands with lovely views then do visit. It has 16 acres of formal gardens with woodland walks and with a manor house dating from 1720 surrounded by 150 acres of parkland.

There are yew hedges, a walled garden (although short on plants here) the Egg Pond and a Vineyard. Then there is the so called Millenium garden, which could rival Great Dixter’s sunken garden, if there were more plants in the surrounding beds and so on. The Woodland walk is famed for its bluebells in late spring.

The house is not open to the public as it is currently occupied but the owners are on hand to give advice and information. There’s a stableyard with a small cafe doing light lunches and tea and coffee and they sell their own jam and Hole Park honey. And best of all, there weren’t hordes of visitors either and the staff were friendly.

If you want a nice peaceful relaxing visit in lovely surroundings, I recommend a visit to Hole Park!

Hole Park is about 1 hr 15 mins from Greenwich and is open Weds & Thurs plus some Sundays in October. Sat Nav TN17 4JA. It is open for the NGS on 11 October. Tickets £8 (the Gardeners World 2 for1 tickets work). Also keep an eye on their Events page, they host plant fairs occasionally.

Pat K

A visit to Hall Place

We had a lovely relaxing day at Hall Place on 9 September 2020. It has been maintained very well considering lockdown issues. This “tropical” display near the main entrance was particularly colourful, with cannas, castor oil plants, dahlias and sunflowers. The topiary “beasts” looked very smart and the long borders were interesting for ideas as they were laid out by colour. After a picnic lunch, visiting the small but very good quality plant centre finished off an excellent day.

Hall Place, September 2020

A visit to Great Dixter

As you will see from our website What’s On, there are a lot of virtual garden tours now taking place online, but for those members who like to smell the plants and feel the breeze, this isn’t quite the same!  Great excitement then as Pat and I decided to visit Great Dixter – for both of us it was the first garden visit of the year.

Fennel at Great Dixter

We had wondered quite how social distancing would work at Great Dixter, mindful of the narrow paths and tight spaces. However, the one way system in operation and the limitation on the number of visitors at any one time proved very effective. The only area currently out of bounds was the vegetable garden. Covid-19 is a truly devastating disease and it is hard to see any good in the current situation, but reductions in visitor numbers in galleries and in gardens does mean that you can take your time and appreciate things better.

We marvelled at the huge Fennel, which Fergus Garrett loves, scattered throughout the gardens.

The glory of the varieties of Phlox which seem to be in abundance everywhere. We mourned the loss of the name Aster (now the unpronounceable  Symphyotrichium). I fell in love with the Pelargonium Concolor Lace.

We discovered a beautifully unusual double burgundy coloured Antirrhinum, but couldn’t find seeds for it. And, of course, we bought some plants! Both Pat and I have gardens already crammed with plants, but have a similar approach to gardening which is that there is always room for one more! In my garden, at least, this results in an undisciplined profusion. I look with envy at spaces which are carefully laid out (like the Chelsea garden below) and where every plant has its place, but this is something I can only aspire to!

Chelsea 2018 calm garden
Chelsea 2018, calm, restful and carefully curated

Vija and Pat

A walk around the Olympic Park

Anna led a walk around the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on 30 September 2019 – a slightly grey but thankfully dry autumnal day. Our small group had a great time meandering around the park. The planting is very natural-looking with some wonderful pops of colour from red-hot pokers and Eucomis. Definitely worth another visit at a different season.

Chihuly glass sculptures at Kew Gardens

Thoroughly recommend visiting this exhibition if you can. We combined it with a visit to the Marianne North gallery and took all day over it. The sculptures are all based on plants and have been beautifully set around the gardens.