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Gardens of Warwickshire 2015

Visits > Past Visit Reports and Pictures > Gardens of Warwickshire
Following  our departure from Nailsea our first visit was to The Court House at  Stretton-on-the-Fosse. A beautiful 4 acre garden set around a handsome  Georgian house in local stone. Of particular note was a restored kitchen  garden in very good heart, attractive herbaceous borders and  interesting topiary. The outer reaches of the garden were separated from  the area near the house by a ha-ha.

After  an efficiently served lunch in the Rose and Crown at Feckenham a short  hop down the road brought us to Meadow Farm. The current owners have  created a magnificent garden containing every plant imaginable. They run  an extensive nursery supplying plant shows and fairs and have a well  stocked plant sales area for visiting groups. Across the drive is a wild  flower meadow providing habitat to many butterflies backed by a small  woodland.

Overnight accommodation was provided by Chesford Grange Hotel near Kennilworth.

Day  2 commenced with a visit to the Mill Garden. The Garden is a half acre  informal cottage garden originally created by Arthur Measures, now owned  and maintained by his daughter and her husband. It lies in a superb  setting beneath the walls of Warwick Castle, beside the River Avon. It  is a garden of winding paths that lead through a delightful series of  plantings with an abundance of plants, shrubs and trees. Around every  corner there are dramatic views of the Castle, medieval bridge, Castle  Mill and the river. It is a place of peace and beauty.

Next  on the itinerary was Hill Close Gardens. These gardens are a very rare  example of Victorian detached leisure gardens which were originally  located on the outskirts of many towns. Local people have worked  tirelessly to save Hill Close Gardens from destruction and  redevelopment. The massive clearance and restoration effort that  followed has created a site of national importance. Today the Gardens  are beautifully restored and have become a significant historic and  educational amenity for the local population.

Packwood  House is famed for the topiary of its ancient yews. An avenue rising  from the house leads to a mound which can be climbed via a spiral path  enclosed within yew hedges. The National Trust have done an impressive  job on the herbaceous borders which were at their best in July. A walk  in the park takes one through a wood and down to the lake. Interesting  modern sculpture is displayed in various locations.

We  were at Packwood for lunch and the whole afternoon so there was plenty  of time to tour the Tudor redbrick house as well as the garden.

A second night at Chesford Grange lead us into Day 3.

First on the agenda was Avondale Nursery. An introductory talk was given by the owner.

The  nursery is divided into 2 areas. A stock garden in which visitors are  free to wander shows the potential purchaser how plants should look  planted in the ground.

The  sales area carries most of the plants seen in the garden. Needless to  say many people went over the top as usual an added extensively to their  collections at home – much to the horror of our driver Steve.

Then  on to Elm Close in Welford-on-Avon. This is a small cottage garden with  some unusual plants. Well-packed vegetable garden in small area.  Unusual way of growing herbaceous clematis. The garden had recently been  reduced in size to make it more manageable for the elderly owners.

Following  lunch at the next door Bell Inn we re-boarded the coach and motored  south to Rockcliffe in the heart of the Cotswolds. This was the icing on  the cake. It is a large traditional English garden of 8 acres set  around a beautiful Georgian house. We were lead on a tour by the head  gardener to the pink garden, white and blue garden, herbaceous border,  rose terrace and large walled kitchen garden. A pathway of topiary birds  leads up through an orchard to the stone dovecot with splendid views  back to the house. A dramatic formal pond is surrounded by 6 large  cornus contraversa variegata. The Fagus party was treated to a leisurely  cream tea in the orangery.

This was one of the best Fagus tours yet – congratulations to the organisers.
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