Oakleigh & Wildwood, Frimley Green
On Friday 10th June at 2pm, 13 of us met at Oakleigh and followed onto Wildwood, NGS open gardens in Frimley Green. These gardens, one long with serpentine boarders and the other (through a gate at the rear) smaller and very much a wildlife garden. The gardens were stuffed full of plants leaving no room for weeds! The wooden half barrel pond at Oakleigh had frogs enjoying the tiny pond making it a haven for them and water insects. Wildwood had a small natural pond with a mass of frogs enjoying the afternoon sun. Lots of birdhouses were under the eves and the twittering fledgling could be heard all around. Also, an abundance of highly scented roses were everywhere.
Tea was delightful served on vintage tablecloths and china and cakes on cake stands all sitting small tables around the garden. This was probably the highlight of the afternoon sitting in the late afternoon sun. We could have sat there longer chatting but it was time to make our way home. Angela,Graham and Annie, with their tea helpers, made us very welcome and a plant sale , always a treat to go home with something, was a bonus.
Bridge End Cottage, Ockham
Oaklands Farm, Shipley
Yesterday a group of 16 from The Garden Explorers Group were given a very warm welcome by Zsa, the owner and her three dogs, Hungarian visuals, to this farmhouse and farm in Shipley, near Horsham. The farmhouse has a country garden designed and mostly painted in 2010. The oak lined drive opens out to a courtyard with pleached hornbeams and many planted pots. The garden area is about 2 acres with herbaceous boarders containing various shrubs, roses ( one being Rosa Darcy Bussell, a beautifully scented velvet red rose), clematis and a very fine magnolia grandiflora. We also walked around her greenhouse and veggie plot. Zsa also keeps hens, a lot of them pretty bantams roaming around the garden and an aviary of zebra finches and quails. Sadly, the garden had taken its toll with the dry, hot weather this summer.
Zsa was a very entertaining host showing us around her garden. We had tea in the garden with a choice of four different homemade cakes all delicious, decorated with flowers from the garden. £160 was collected for Zsa's chosen charity, Crawley Open House, which gives a home and support for homeless people. We all had another great afternoon out!
Knowle Grange, Shere
Winkworth Arboretum, Godalming
Although not a garden as such, our last walk this year in Winkworth Arboretum, Godalming was a splendid end to a great year of garden visits. The weather had been kind to us on all our visits through the year and although we had some rain, this day the sun shone at times bringing a glow to the changing trees. Some leaves had now turned beautiful Autumn colours, other trees had beautiful seedbeds and some were flowering out of their normal season, all bringing interest to our walk. We eventually arrived at the boathouse when the rain came down heavier for a time. But we were undercover so no problem. We stood on the balcony admiring the view over the lake. What a serene place. On arriving back at the entrance we were ready for our customary tea and cake under an awning before setting off homeward. We are already looking forward to our next year's garden exploring. And what a great place Winkworth is!