18 of the Beech Gardeners went on a visit to a lovely garden, Little Court, in Crawley, near Winchester on Wednesday 25 February to see the snowdrops and swathes of crocuses.
There was a great carpet of aconites in the front garden of Little Court as we went in and some beautiful hellebores. We went round the back of the house and met Mrs Patricia Elkington whose house had been her family home since the 1950s. The garden was open to the public under the National Gardens Scheme. She pointed out the swathes of crocuses and snowdrops further down her garden and told us to feel free to roam around, especially to go into the field at the end of her garden. The snowdrops and crocuses were a picture.
We mooched about exploring her garden and admiring the wonderful show of flowers – a real harbinger of Spring.
There were many new varieties of snowdrop planted near the house which our hostess is obviously bringing on before she transplants them elsewhere. They are in the photo gallery below and have labels on them.
Mrs Elkington was also selling little pots of snowdrops and aconites for us to buy. at a very reasonable price. We all seemed to take something away with us.
The fields beyond the end of the garden were amazing. They had put some benches in the meadow for us to sit on and admire the view. It was a very bright and sunny afternoon and mild for the end of February. The farmer in the adjoining field was ploughing and the cloud of seagulls following him made a wonderful picture in the sunshine.
After we had done with exploring Mrs Elkington had made us a cup of tea and provided biscuits as well. She also was selling slices of the most gorgous, delicious lemon cake.
Mrs Elkington gave us some very good tips about encouraging our new bulbs to spread – a mixture of Vermiculite which can be bought from B&Q for £4.37 and Vitax Q4 fertilizer from Amazon at £4.99 – wrapped in a tissue and tied, and buried about 6 inches down under our new plantings.
After we had finished our refreshments all the bantam chickens came out and gathered round us after crumbs. They were so pretty, but a nightmare for the photographer as they would not stay still for a second. A fitting end to a lovely afternoon out. Below is a gallery of photos of our visit.
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