Cambs and Beds Hardy Plant Society. Group Trip to Hereford May 2015.
After picking up thirty five members and friends for our five day trip to Hereford we then travelled to Batsford Arboretum at Morton in Marsh. Unfortunately the weather was unkind to us and our guided tour of the arboretum was spoilt by heavy showers of rain and hail, but on the whole we enjoyed our visit and the trees were bursting with flowers and fresh new leaves. We then travelled onto Hereford and as we went further west the weather improved. Arriving at Hereford we found the Green Dragon Hotel was close to the town centre and within easy walking distance of the Cathedral.
On our second day we visited HPS member’s gardens at Stapleton Castle Court, and Ivy Cottage both close to Prestiegne. Both were lovely gardens and made a good contrast the first being mainly on a hillside and the other being a mature cottage garden. Plants were sold at the first garden so our coach started to be filled with prize purchases. We then travelled onto Westonbury Mill and Water Garden for our lunch and afternoon garden visit. Again another complete change of garden with many follies including a water tower, water powered cuckoo clock and beautiful bottle ‘igloo’. All the construction had been completed by the owner who was present to explain the structures and how the garden had developed from a near derelict site.
Our third day started with a guided tour of the Cathedral and gardens which took the majority of the morning. It was nice to go behind the scenes and see the private gardens of both the Dean and Bishop. Volunteers did the majority of the work on the Cathedral gardens. After lunch we re-joined the coach and went to the stunning gardens of Brobury House. The weather had steadily improved and in the afternoon, it both sunny and warm, such a delight to be enjoying such lovely surroundings.
Our fourth day started with visits to Aulden Farm, and Ivycroft near Leominster. Both are gardens and nurseries and are owned by H.P.S. members. Both gardens were different but both had beautiful grounds with many different plants. Again our members made purchases and began to fill up the coach. In the afternoon we travelled to Stockton Bury Gardens. We all enjoyed the different themed gardens and the spectacular planting.
Finally our last day dawned. Our first garden was Brockhampton Cottage Garden south of Hereford. This was again a beautiful garden with views across the valleys to the Black Mountains of Wales. The head gardener stayed with the group and answered all of the questions and described how the garden had been created by the current owner. We finally had to leave and travelled north for an afternoon visit to Avondale Library Garden and Nursery. Brian, Steph and Di welcomed us and after an introduction our members visited the library garden and then purchased more prized plants which eventually virtually filled the coach.
Thanks go to Hereford HPS members’ who opened their gardens for us and particularly their Secretary Jane who advised us on the garden visits. Peter B. June 2015.