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Garden visits for Melksham Gardeners

The Melksham Gardeners’ Society has enjoyed two visits recently – to a Chinese garden in Westbury and Kew Gardens in London.

Cary Hopkins, Melksham Gardeners’ Society secretary said, “We had two visits to the NGS garden The Beggar’s Knoll Chinese Garden at Newtown, Westbury, on 22nd June and 4th July due to the size of the groups attending.  What a revelation!  The 1 acre garden had been created over the past 17 years on a sloping site up the hill; culminating in woodland and with linking Chinese gardens in the main body of the garden.

“On both days, the owners, Colin Little and Penny Stirling, split us into two groups and gave us an extensive guided tour before leaving us to explore and then we had homemade cake and a reviving cup of tea.

“Extremely knowledgeable about their subject and eager to answer our never-ending questions, their garden was a fascinating look at planting, ornamentation and different pagodas and pavilions built in the Chinese way.

“The photo (above) shows some of the club members at the top of the garden at one of the Pagodas/pavilions – there is a difference between the two; a pagoda was originally a religious building and a pavilion was a shelter.

“The views are spectacular and the gardens are beautiful and packed full of interesting plants and combination planting.  If you have never been there, we encourage you strongly to make a booking and see all their hard work yourself as it is only open by pre-booking.

“On Sunday 2nd July, we went to the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew for our main annual trip.   It was gloriously hot and sunny and by general consensus it was a successful trip, with lots of ideas being taken back to our own gardens.

“The long border, in particular, was at its peak and worth a visit for that alone.   Lots of walking but plenty of cold drinks, food and ice creams helped everyone along.  It is not just the gardens though, there is the gallery, the palace and the kitchen gardens as well as tours and talks.

“There is no meeting in August due to the summer holidays but our next big adventure is the 9th Open Flower and Produce Show held on 10th September at the Melksham Assembly Hall from 2 – 4.30pm.

“Booklets and entry forms are available   from Flowers in Focus, Town Hall, Melksham Without Parish Council and the Tourist Information Office.   Look out for the posters with more information or look at the website below.        

“New members and guests are always welcome.  Entry is £1 for members and £2 for guests. Annual membership is  £10.”

For more information contact tel: 01225 702716 or email: melksham_gardeners@live.co.uk