Hodnet & District Garden Club take advantage of the summer months to include some “out and about” items in their monthly programme.
June saw them visiting Drayton Fields Farm at Wollerton. Mrs Louise Roberts, who had opened her garden for the NGS Open Gardens Scheme the previous weekend, kindly hosted a private visit and refreshments for the Garden Club on 20th June.
The original house was built in the 1840’s and the Wellingtonia trees planted in the grounds at that time are now spectacular. Members were told that the gardens were somewhat lacking in flowers when Mrs Roberts began her work, but that is certainly not the case now. There are well-stocked herbaceous borders, dahlias, and a great variety of roses in the rose garden. There is a well-maintained parterre with gravel paths and tightly pruned hedging, and the garden is so designed that each new “room” entered holds the element of surprise for the visiting explorer, in both the layout and the planting. During a busy season for the avid gardener, it’s always a delight to view the results of someone else’s hard work.
In July Dave Smither and his wife Val hosted an open evening at their home at Marchamley Wood. Over the fifteen years they have lived there, they’ve transformed their half acre of land into a beautiful garden, landscaping their space very creatively to provide a sitting out area, a cottage garden area and a shady courtyard with a water feature, plus a large vegetable garden.
Guests enjoyed home-baking and refreshments plus a guided tour of the garden by David, who spoke about the planting schemes and recounted how the various sectors of the garden had gradually moved from idea to reality. He did not underplay the amount of hard work involved in developing a garden and keeping it well-maintained. Members listened with sympathy to tales of times when things had not turned out according to plan – what happened when the polytunnel overheated, the frustration of rabbits devouring overnight the products of weeks of careful tending, and of course the issues raised by a very dry summer. There was even a round the year visual presentation of the garden in different seasons.