Garden Visits Group
|Summary||Garden Visits - Garden visits and/or illustrated talks|
|Venue||Monthly, 4th Thursday pm, by arrangement but usually the week before or after the main monthly meeting.|
|Contact||Glenys Steedman - Telephone details are in the paper copy of the newsletter|
|firstname.lastname@example.org with 'U3A Garden Visits Enquiry' as the subject|
We are a small group who enjoy visiting gardens, some National Trust properties, some open gardens and some garden centres.
We meet once a month for visits or for illustrated talks in members homes, usually given by members.
2020 Report: View
2020 started for the Garden Visits Group with a planning meeting held at the Kenilworth hotel in Cheadle Hulme, preceded for 6 of us by lunch there. Everyone else opted just for coffee during the meeting. We included 3 new members.
In late February 8 of us had a cold visit to Rode Hall, near Congleton, to see their snowdrops. Hot soup, hot drinks and delicious cakes were very welcome after our brisk walk round the extensive gardens.
By March we were into lockdown and no visits were possible.
However, when lockdown eased we began to think of visiting each other’s gardens. Only 3 people came to see mine, but this was to be expected since most members had already been to my garden twice before and some members were wary of going out. So 3 of us visited Heather James’ garden in July and just got round before it started to rain.
More daring later, 7 of us enjoyed a strawberry and scone tea under Rita and Derek White’s carport, keeping our distance, of course, after making our rounds of the garden. Derek was too ill to be with us and sadly died a few weeks later. Still later, a permitted 6 of us, including Lesley and Ken, enjoyed a chat round their garden, with tea and cake, marvelling at so much in their small garden .
Alas, after that we were in tier 3 and no more visits were allowed.
However, a new member had been introduced to us back in February, John Ainscow, and in October, keeping our distance, my friend Joyce Davy, another new member and I visited his garden to give him advice on what to plant in his large garden.
Since then, it’s been quizzes on Zoom, November, December and January, for those of us savvy about computers, very kindly devised and sent to us by Ron and Cathy Butler. They’ve been extremely difficult, as we’ve told Ron, but he’s not let up and we’ve kept our terrible scores to ourselves!
2019 Report: View
Our Group grew in 2019 from 16 to 23! This was owing to an increase in people wanting to join and a decision to have indoor meetings at The Kenilworth when necessary. However, for my first planning meeting last January, Lynne kindly volunteered her house and provided us with her usual cake and cream scones. Something we won't get at the Kenilworth! Our first outing in February was to Dunham Massey Winter Garden again, with a good turnout of 17. Always a good place to visit. On an unseasonably warm and sunny day in March we visited the Daffodil Fields near Northwich and even enjoyed our tea and cake sitting outside! We viewed row upon row of different varieties that we hadn't seen before, but sadly none were for sale. I was in Spain for the April trip, but had arranged for a visit to Prestbury Nurseries, which were also well attended. This is a family run nursery with a very small tea room but a very extensive range of reasonably priced plants and shrubs, and I think most members bought at least one plant! In May we went to a private garden in Symmondley, called "High Roost" (for reasons that became obvious) and which was open on other dates for the NGS. A very interesting hilly garden with winding paths, sculptures and natty ceramic home made planters and lots of plants for sale, not to mention lots of jam and cream scones. On a hot sunny day in June, 11 of us finally found our way to Peover Hall, despite the winding Cheshire lanes and lack of signposting. I found this garden disappointing since it was basically a rose garden with little else to see and the 2 staff members found it difficult to supply us and the other visitors who had been encouraged out by the good weather, with enough cake and tea. In July I was again on holiday, but our new member Heather James stepped in, and as a volunteer gardener showed our group round the nurseries at Lyme Park. In August nine of us visited two private gardens in Gatley open for the NGS on other days. West Drive gardens consist of a "smallish" fully planted terraced garden and a large, more natural woodland garden, where we were served with tea and scones in a little summer house. September's visit to Mount Pleasant saw us dodging the heavy rain showers. This is a huge garden on a hillside encompassing everything you would want to find in a garden! Japanese, herbaceous, wild flower sculpture meadow, rockery with waterfall and pond, vegetables and reasonably priced plants for sale, plus a tearoom. What more could you ask for? With the Autumn fast approaching, we opted for a plant and seed exchange, followed by the usual tea and cakes at my house and raised £15 for The Wellspring. We ended the year with our Xmas meal, again at The Church Inn, Cheadle Hulme. In between our monthly visits, Ron Butler, Jackie Harmer and I entertained the other members to our own gardens with, need I say it, tea and cakes outside. Glenys Steedman
This document last modified Tuesday May 26, 2020
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