|rotunda in the North American garden|
Garden club bus trip
I’ve recently joined a local garden lovers group. It’s been a lovely way to meet people in the local community and of course we are all mad about plants and gardening, which gives us plenty to talk about. The club is very informal but very well organised, with monthly meetings and bus trips three times a year. At the meetings members swap plants, hold a raffle with some excellent donated prizes (including plants of course) and a freebee table where you can share bits and pieces from your garden that you don’t need. Monies raised go towards the bus trips.
|man-made lake with platypus and bird life|
I was looking forward to the bus trip as we would be visiting a fantastic Rhododendron garden run by volunteers for decades and a private garden, Annsleigh, which is well known in this area, having been planted by the original owners 60 years ago and open to the public for a long time.
|the Asian garden had many beautiful features|
The rhodo garden was quite spectacular, with many developed areas centred around a geographical theme, such as North America, Asia, Australia etc. The man-made lake boasts a pair of platypus and many wild birds. I was particularly impressed with the wooden structural features of the garden, which covers many acres ( I think they said 33 acres?) such as a traditional Chinese pagoda, a rotunda surrounded by autumn-glorious trees overlooking a small lake, bridges and waterways.
|roof tiles imported from Taiwan|
|the entire building has no screws or nails, just interlocking pieces|
|hand painted flowers done by a local school girl|
The original owners sold it to the well organised volunteers a number of years ago who have developed it into a fabulous place to spend hours or even hold a function such as a wedding. We had a delicious lunch there after our guided tour with a very knowledgeable guide.
Then it was back in the bus and off to Annsleigh to be hosted by new owners, enjoy a private tour and later on a Devonshire tea. Yum! Absolutely spoilt.
Ansleigh is currently undergoing a transformation as much of the garden fell into disrepair over a period of years, I surmise this coincided with the owners becoming too old to keep up the demands of a large planting of rare plants and trees, with formal and informal areas. The previous owners are now in their 80’s. The new owners have been steadily hacking and clearing and pruning for 12months and already I see signs they are making good progress. They have plans to build five small cottages and host weddings, particularly in the Japanese garden.
|gorgeous autumn colours|
All in all a fabulous day out which I thoroughly enjoyed and I look forward to the next bus trip!