Our visit to Colemore House Gardens started with a torrential downpour but fortunately the delightful church was unlocked so we spent a little time inside its calming influence. The clouds soon cleared and the sun shone so we had a very enjoyable saunter around the arboretum and the four acre garden. The roses in the garden designed by David Austin himself were past their best but were still impressive even more so as they had been decimated by the local deer population shortly after planting. We made a collective decision to return another year when the roses were in full bloom.
At the beginning of September we hired a mini bus to visit two National Trust properties near Henley-on-Thames. Both were set in glorious countryside and were of a scale we could relate to. The sun even shone! We went first to Greys Court, a Tudor Manor House with layers of history and walled gardens containing a 128 year old Wisteria which covered a vast area giving a gazebo effect. The house had had various makeovers by different generations; ceilings raised panelling painted over, dark panelling swapped for light ones and so on. One could easily image living in the beautifully proportioned rooms with excellent views.
Nuffield House is an Arts and Crafts house and the interior is just as it was when William Morris and his wife lived there. For the man, founder of Morris Motors and one of the greatest philanthropists this country has ever know, it is modest and unpretentious. We enjoyed seeing furniture reminiscent of our grandparents generation and the impressive bathrooms with no loos, the chamber pots were still there for us to see!
Our last outing this year was to Uppark House and Garden NT and we were fortunate to have a lovely sunny day. The film of the fire and restoration was very interesting and the house itself fascinating. One could see the servant’s quarters in great detail in contrast to the Georgian ‘above stairs’. There are some incredible dolls houses to be seen with exquisite detail. The views from the house were extraordinary and it was a lovely way to round off our visiting season.
For our first winter evening meeting, Ray Broughton will talk on Plants for Year Round Interest. The year ends with our Christmas Party themed Jungle Bells.
New members are always welcome, family membership is £15 per year. Any queries please contact Kathy (549401) or Sheila (88924).