“The lesson I have thoroughly learnt, and wish to pass on to others, is to know the enduring happiness that the love of a garden gives.” Gertrude Jekyll
Thursday, 3rd May 2018
Two Gardens in Surrey
In the morning we will visit Coverwood Lakes, Ewhurst. This is a 14 acre landscaped garden in a stunning position high in the Surrey Hills with 4 lakes and bog garden, extensive rhododendrons, azaleas and fine trees. There is a marked trail through a 180 acre working farm. Here we will have an introductory talk, tea/coffee and cake. We will also have our picnic lunch here.
In the afternoon we will visit Ramster, Chiddingfold. This stunning mature garden is set in 20 acres of woodland. It was first opened for the NGS in 1927 and remains one of the few original gardens which still open for the scheme. It was laid out in 1890 with the help of Gauntletts Nursery which was famous for its interest in Japanese plants and this influence is still maintained in the garden today. The Millennium Garden displays the best of modern garden architecture. There is a teahouse where we may purchase tea and cake.
The cost for this outing is £29.50 for members (£32.50 for guests and non-members) which covers, entrance to both gardens, coach and driver’s gratuity, and refreshments at our morning garden.
Please bring a picnic lunch
Depart Chalfont St Giles Village Green at 9.15am. Please note time.
Depart Ramster at approx 4pm.
Tuesday, 5th June 2018
Two gardens in Hampshire
The Manor House, Upton Grey , in the morning
Bere Mill, Whitchurch in the afternoon
In the morning we will visit The Manor House, Upton Grey. The 15th century Manor House was altered by Ernest Newton in 1903-1905 for Charles Holme, founder of the leading Arts and Crafts magazine The Studio. The garden was designed and planted in 1908 and 1909 by Gertrude Jekyll. This is the most accurately and fully restored of her gardens. The garden consists of a wild garden where grass paths run amongst rambling roses, shrubs and trees to a planted pond. The formal garden holds herbaceous borders with colours running from cool colours at either end to hot in the centre, a rose lawn, planted drystone walls, bowling and tennis lawns. This is surrounded by a nuttery, kitchen garden, and orchard with pergolas and arbours.
In the afternoon we will visit Bere Mill, Whitchurch. On the Upper Test with water meadows and wooded valleys, this garden offers herbaceous borders, bog and Mediterranean plants as well as a replanted orchard and two small arboretums. Features include early bulbs, species tulips, Japanese prunus, peonies, wisteria, irises, roses, and semi-tropical planting.
At heart it aims to complement the natural beauty of the site, and to incorporate elements of oriental garden design and practice. The working mill was where Portals first made paper for the Bank of England in 1716.
The cost for this outing is £33 for members (£36 for guests and non-members) which covers, entrance to gardens, coach and driver’s gratuity.
· Please bring a picnic lunch.
· Departing Chalfont St Giles Village Green at 09.15.
· Departing Bere Mill, Whitchurch at approximately 16.00.
For more information go to
Wednesday 8th August, 2018
Two Gardens in Sussex
Sussex Prairie Garden , Henfield in the morning
Durrance Manor, Shipley in the afternoon
In the morning we will visit Sussex Prairie Garden, Henfield. Surrounded by mature oak trees the eight acre garden consists of a series of interlocking arcs of large planted borders in a naturalistic style. The borders encourage exploration and adventure and visitors are welcome to roam in amongst the mighty plants to further enjoy the experience.
The plantings consist of large groupings of each variety, planted in a free flowing style, which contrasts leaf forms, stems, stalks, flower shapes and textures. Colours are soft and muted, and complement the natural landscape.
In the afternoon we will visit Durrance Manor, Shipley. This two acre garden surrounding a medieval hall house (not open) with Horsham stone roof enjoys uninterrupted views, over a ha-ha, of the South Downs and Chanctonbury Ring. There are many different gardens here, including colourful long borders, Japanese inspired gardens, large pond, wild flower meadow and orchard, shade gardens, hosta walk, greenhouse and vegetable garden. There is also a Monet style bridge over a pond with water lilies.
The cost for this outing is £31.50 for members (£34.50 for guests and non-members) which covers, entrance to gardens, coach and driver’s gratuity, and refreshments at our afternoon garden.
· Please bring a picnic lunch.
· There is a tea shop at the Sussex Prairie Garden where you may buy refreshments.
· Departing Chalfont St Giles Village Green at 09.00.
· Departing Durrance Manor at approximately 16.00.
For more information go to:
Thenford House, Arboretum and Gardens
Friday 26th October, 2018 - Afternoon only
Three quarters of the way through the twentieth century the woodland surrounding Thenford House had seen little attention since Queen Victoria’s day. The garden immediately around the house had, however, been cared for and the two acre walled garden had continued in active use until after the Second World War, although by the 1970s its use was largely given over to the rearing of lambs secure from the foxes for which the Bicester Hunt was famed.
Michael and Anne Heseltine purchased the house and its surrounding garden in 1976, whilst adding over 400 acres of agricultural land to the horticultural and agricultural assets of Haymarket Media Group.
Over the next twenty five years their priority consisted in the restoration of 40 acres of woodland. The debris was cleared, rotten or fallen trees replaced, the walled garden brought back to its former use, the medieval fish ponds – much altered in the nineteenth century – dredged and the water flow restored. The two acre lake had to be cleared of 3 metres of silt and its stone retaining wall rebuilt.
In order to help with the replanting programme the Heseltine’s sought advice from some of the leading horticultural leaders of the time, including Lanning Roper, Sir Harold Hillier, Roy Lancaster and Keith Rushforth.
The arboretum, now spread out over seventy acres, features a collection of more than three thousand different trees and shrubs, together with extensive herbaceous borders, water gardens, an alpine trough garden, a sculpture garden, a rose garden and a rill. The medieval fish ponds, their interconnecting canal and the existing lake have been restored and two new ones have been added. An eighteenth century avenue of mature yews has been cleared of self-seeded shrubs and saplings, and returned to its former grandeur.
The cost for this outing will be £23.00 for members (£26.00 for non-members) which covers, entrance to gardens, coach and driver’s gratuity. This is an afternoon outing and does not include lunch this year.
· Tea and coffee with cake will be available to purchase in the Church Barn during the afternoon.
· Please note the terrain is quite rough so please wear appropriate footwear.
· Departing Chalfont St Giles Village Green at 12.30. Please have your lunch first!
· Departing Thenford House at approximately 17.00.
For more information go to http://thenfordarboretum.com/