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Exploring Gardens 2023


Exploring Gardens 2023


Est 2016


 Exploring Gardens is a  group visiting different gardens on the first Thursday of each month. ( weather dependent)  If you would like to be part of this group please contact either Elaine or Janine. 



Please note that for various reasons not all visits fall on the first Thursday of the month so please check the dates. For all visits we will meet at the gardens at 2pm.The maximum cost per garden is £10 per head, which generally goes straight to one of the NGS chosen charities. This sum covers the garden entry and tea & cake.
















Below is a list of Garden Visits
from April -October


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Garden Visits for 2023
13th April   Wisley
11th May   
Molehill House, Cobham
1st June   Ashcombe, West Humble
6th July   Nutrition Garden, Frimley Green
3rd August   Woodpeckers,Woking
7th September   Ironwood House,Slinfold
5th October   The Grange,Bookham


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2023 Visits


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Janine Stein

Our first meet up this month was to one of the most iconic gardens we are ever likely to visit, to what feels like our very own as its on our door step, the Royal Horticultural Garden at Wisley.
We were a group of 11 with our first port of call to an exhibition entitled Royal Roots in The Old Laboratory housing a collection of botanical watercolours signed by royal patrons. Also on show memorabilia of Wisley through the ages.
Then off we went on our walk first to Battleston Hill for the camellia and magnolia show then passing the latest project the newly dug lake with its island of flowering cherries. We enjoyed the colour around the garden of masses of new bulbs planted last year. We visited the Alpine House with lots of little treasures and looking its best at this time of year.
We could not leave without stopping for tea and a chat before heading off home. Some of us stayed until 6pm when most visitors had left so we enjoyed the quiet of the garden all to ourselves. We missed the rain, just to expl

Elaine Belt

Moleshill, Cobham

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Janine Stein

We missed the rain, just to explore this fascinating garden owned by Penny Snell, a renowned flower arranger, showing her garden as a testament to her designer's eye. Penny has been opening her garden now for 30 years for charity. Over the years the garden has evolved to what it is today, a place with lots of shady woodland, meandering paths, pleached hornbeams and whitbeams, rose arbours, a stumpery, masses of pots of various sizes dotted around the garden showing jaw dropping tulips, a gyspy caravan, beehives, pond with water flowing and espalier apples. This is to name but a few features but there are plenty more to be admired at every turning! This garden also has friendly weeds galore which adds to its abundance of plant life.
We enjoyed our obligatory tea and cake sitting outside chatting and buying plants before setting off home after a lovely afternoon.
If you have a chance visit the NGS garden if you haven't already and if you have, maybe a different time of year. Its nearby, and I promise you won't be disappointed.

Elaine Belt

Ashcombe, West Humble

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Janine Stein

David and Vivienne welcomed 18 of us to Ashcombe, next door to Ashleigh Grange one of our past fabulous garden visits. The garden is a 1 1/2 acre sloping garden on flint and chalk. The highlights were roses, fragrant and full of bud with others in flower, delphiniums, so tall and elegant with some flowering but most in full bud, clematis, beautiful as ever, and acres, so many varieties. This is a plantaholics garden with so much to admire and far too many trees and shrubs to mention. Vivienne also tends a gravel gardens with salvias and day lilies and two ponds. We had a sunny afternoon to walk with Vivienne who showed us around and down to the wild garden with a sculpture of a pony whited looked so real! Tea and cake was served on the terrace with some ladies sitting looking down the garden, prime position. We had the opportunity to buy plants here, always a bonus and walk around ourselves for a last look before setting off home. £180 was collected for Vivienne's charities, cat protection and rescue horses mainly ex racehorses. We'd all had a super afternoon.

Elaine Belt

The Nutrition Garden, Frimley

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Janine Stein

Thursday 7th July was our garden explorers group meet up and this month's treat was Dr Trevor George's nutrition garden in Frimley. Rather than all about gardendesgin this garden gave us more than that i.e Trevor talked about how some of the plants he had growing could affect our health in a positive way, edible plants and unusual coloured varieties to increase our rainbow coloured foods. Whilst we walked around Trevor's garden he talked about the various attributes of edible plants. We tried the petals of some for sprinkling on salads and leaves of others. Also tasting different mints, ginger rosemary and lemon verbena.
Trevor served us a fabulous afternoon tea with delicate sandwiches made from beetroot, tomato and spinach bread which were all delicious. Then he brought out lime and courgette cakes, carrot cakes, chocolate and beetroot cakes, lavender cakes and lemon verbena cakes all in dainty portions so we could try them all. Some of us picked various herbs from the garden and made infusions to drink with our afternoon tea. This was such a difference approach to what you can grow in your garden to benefit your health and excite your taste buds.
Elaine Belt

Woodpeckers, Woking

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Janine Stein

14 members of the Exploring Gardens Group were met at Woking Leisure Centre car park by Janis, the owner of Woodpeckers next door, for our tour through his garden. This area was once farmland so has the benefit of good loam with a dry pan beneath.The garden is new, surrounded by mature trees, not very large but very well stocked with plants; 406 he says! It has been divided into three areas, vibrant colours in the jewels amphitheatre, leafy textures and pastels in the social room and a large glass greenhouse and grow your own productive area.Janis, a horticultural designer, passed on his horticultural knowledge and shared with us how the garden has changed since he and his partner moved here with 'before and after' photographs.We talked about the plants as we walked along the winding  paths and admired the colours and textures. By the house ( which was being extended with lots of glass overlooking the garden )was an interesting area full of mixed-sized pebbles with three low water fountains housing beneath a harnessed water reservoir. Great for wildlife watching.
A cream tea was served after our tour and Janisserved his Latvian berry crumble cake which was delicious and scones with jammed cream.
We'd had another super afternoon admiring his showcase garden, enjoyed talking about our own and took home with us lots of inspirational ideas.

Elaine Belt

Ironwood House, Slinfold


Elaine Belt

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The Grange, Bookham

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