Once again, Janella came up trumps and organised another wonderful trip for us this year. I think I can speak for all of us when I say we thoroughly enjoyed the day, ate our fill of cake, admired the gardens and were like children in a sweetshop when faced with the range of plants on sale.
Our first stop was Ellicar Gardens where we were greeted by Sarah who offered us coffee and scrumptious cake before visiting the garden. As well as the geese, hens and a rather large sow, there is a natural swimming pond complete with hot tub in this beautiful garden.
|The children's garden|
|The swimming pond|
|The wildflower garden|
We were in good company as the editor of English Garden, Tamsin Westhorpe, arrived while we were there. Laden with our purchases from the nursery, we returned to the coach.
Next stop was Norwell Nurseries. Andrew and Helen came to this plot in 1994 from a terrace house with tiny garden near Spaghetti Junction. They have worked hard on their clay soil which is in a frost pocket to produce a stunning garden and nursery. Andrew gave a short talk followed by a tour round the garden, happily and knowledgeably answering all our questions.
|The shade garden|
We finished with tea and cake; it would have been rude not to! Again we returned to the coach armed with plants galore.
Final stop was the National Trust Garden Clumber Park. We arrived later than scheduled to view the lovely walled gardens and hothouse. Some of us felt that the signage was poor, over 100 species of rhubarb were left to go to seed and we couldn’t find the cafe which was a six minute walk from the gardens.
|This is the red section of the walled garden; the other two sides were white and blue|
|He wasn't with our group|
Our thanks go to Janella for her hard work in planning the day so well and to Ken the driver of the Dalesman Coach who cheerfully stowed our many plants, hazel stakes and obelisks in the hold and calmly drove his coach in traffic jams, under low bridges, through narrow gates and along country roads. Although I purchased some interesting plants, my wish list has grown even longer.
Our own Kate Van Heel is appearing on Instant Gardener BBC1 Friday 4.45.
7th August: Forum