Thursday June 15 – Visit to Broughton Grange. 1.45pm. Broughton Grange is now one of the most significant private contemporary gardens in Britain. Set in 350 acres of parkland, farmland and open meadow, with much of the planting owing its origins to the fashions of the Victorian era. In 2001 Tom Stuart-Smith was commissioned to create a 6 acre walled garden, and from 2003 onwards, an arboretum, with a wide range of interesting species and cultivars, covering 80 acres has been under development. There will be an introductory talk and guided tour, followed by light refreshments. Cost: £13.50 (members £12.50) Details and booking form
Friday-Sunday 7 – 8 – 9 July South Wales Gardens Long weekend. We will travel by a comfortable minibus. The tour will feature visits to Duffryn and St Fagans on the Friday en route to an overnight stay in Swansea. On the Saturday the National Botanic Gardens and Penrice Castle before returning to our base in Swansea. We have a local speaker booked who will talk to us after dinner about the development of the industries of South Wales which funded the creation of some of these stunning landscapes. The return journey will include stops at Aberglasney and Gnoll Gardens, Neath Provisional cost £280 to include travel by minibus throughout, 3* hotel in Swansea and all meals. this may reduce if there are additional bookings. Please book as soon as possible. Details If you would like to join our visit, without starting at Warwick please contact us.
Tuesday August 1. Some Warwick gardens. We are pleased to have arranged an exclusive visit to a selection of gardens in Warwick courtesy of David Howells and Geoffrey Smith. The walk of approximately 2 hours will start at in the Master’s Garden at 4.15pm with tea and conclude in David’s garden with a glass of wine. We will be visiting: The Lord Leycester Hospital – The Master’s Garden, 13 Church Street, Archery Fields, Bridge End, Warwick, 4 Archery Fields Members only. Limited to 20. £5. Booking form
Wednesday August 9. Alton Towers. 10 am. There has been a house on the site since the late C17th. However, most of the development took place under the 15th and 16th Earls of Shrewsbury who began an extensive remodelling over some 50 years from 1800. Pugin arrived relatively late in the process, starting work in 1837 and remodelled the interiors in the ‘Gothic Revival’ style. The death of both Pugin and the 16th Earl in 1857 marked the beginning of a long decline. The grounds became the main focus of the 15th Earl who made improvements to the gardens by the house with a Canal, terrace and a circular pond amongst others. However, the main emphasis was on a deep valley to the east of the house where a carriageway along the top gave views of the gardens below culminating in the Pagoda sited at the bottom of the valley in its own lake and fountain. Other garden buildings were sited on the opposite side of the valley. A Conservatory designed by Robert Abraham in 1821-4 has seven glazed cast-iron domes with pineapple finials. These structures were accompanied by a large scale introduction of trees and shrubs, especially heaths, azaleas, maples and rhododendrons, creating a series of green walks. Parts of the house, gardens and Conservatory have been the subject of restoration in recent years. Cost £20 (members £15) Travel Details will be sent on receipt of a booking. Additionally, we will run a mini-bus from Warwick if there is sufficient interest. This will be an additional £10 per person. Details and booking form
Wednesday September 13. 10.30 The Leasowes, Halesowen. The Leasowes was first laid out by poet William Shenstone in the 1740’s and 1750’s. It was much visited and very influential in the development of taste in eighteenth century gardening. As Shenstone was not wealthy, his estate had to continue to be a productive farm. Many of the features in the landscape were ephemeral and there were losses to encroaching development. However, Dudlley Council has initiated a programme of restoration. this is an all-day visit, with refreshments morning and afternoon and a sandwich lunch. Cost £17 (Members £15) Details and booking form
Wednesday December 6. Winter Talk: “Factory in a Garden,” Friends’ Meeting House, Warwick 7.30
Dr Helena Chance, will be returning for the second talk on the them of a Factory in a garden. This will focus on more modern developments such as the campus style settings favoured by tech companies amongst others and continues the story from the 1950’s where the previous talk concluded.