Another garden trip--thank you

Old Jun 3rd, 2002, 11:18 AM
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Another garden trip--thank you

Just a thank you for help given in planning a great garden trip May 20-28. We took 3 coach (=bus) day trips run by a company called Gentle Journeys, and visited 2 gardens each day--Sissinghurst, Great Dixter House, and Hidcote Manor the more well-known, Edenbridge and Waterperry less well-known (we went happily to Sissinghurst twice). I recommend them without reservation.

Tours were terrifically well-run, with excellent guides who taught us a lot as we drove out of London, let us alone in the gardens, etc. And well-timed as to our finding nice food, coffee, etc. (always at cafes run at the gardens themselves) when we'd want it.

Then thanks to a recommendation here we took another day trip organized by the Naitonal Gardens Scheme to visit private small gardens in London. These trips only occur in Chelsea flower week, though I'd check the NGS website for other posssibilities. This local tour attracted mostly British people, which was a pleasure for us.

Also saw 4 very satisfactory plays, 3 at the RNT (my opinion, just show up there and see what they are offering), and then Lady Windermere's fan. (The RNT 3: Hinterlands, Vincent in Brixton, Powerbook).

We didn't go to the Chelsea Flower Show, as we didn't want to, but that's a good week for garden viewing of course, as I assume the show is scheduled then because of what nature does in Britain in the last week of May.
Old Jun 3rd, 2002, 05:21 PM
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Elizabeth: Curious what you thought of Waterperry? I lived in the UK for a few years and for about 6 months was in a tiny village very near Waterperry. But that was 25 years ago and then it was really more like a lovely garden center. They had big plans but I haven't been back to check it out.
Old Jun 3rd, 2002, 06:25 PM
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Answering your question about Waterperry: as you may know (and as I may be remembering wrong)--it is or was a place for training women gardeners, and supplied major gardeners to Sissinghurst.

That said: I found it both "nice" and not so memorable. Compared to the other places we saw, it seemed passionless, a bit more like a garden designer's living catalog or storybook--Sissinghurst, Great Dixter House, Hidcote Manor all convey the sense of individual creative people, this is more like--pretty gardens, amazing plants, some vivid spots, but not as mind-blowing.
Old Aug 28th, 2002, 10:40 PM
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I found Kent and East Sussex superb for their gardens. Sissinghurst is absolutely the best garden in England, but what was great about my trip was being able to visit many others, all within easy reach. I would definitely reccommend this part of the world if you love gardens and countryside. Highlights included Great Dixter, Marle Place, Pashley Manor, Iden Croft Herb garden , Scotney Castle and Merriments. We stayed in Cranbrook - a typical very small english country town just down the road from Sissinghurst, which was super. Incidentally, the museum there was fascinating. We chose a fabulous B and B called Church Gates, ( The hosts David and Joe are landscape architects so gave us invaluable advice and they have a terrific book collection. The bedroom was beautiful, all oak beams and old brick fireplaces, but with a comfortable kingsized bed, with a very spacious ensuite with a deep freestanding tub and lots of fluffy white towels. Breakfast was home cooked and very lavish. Cranbrook is also handy for the channel tunnel - about 40 minutes away - we even took a day trip to Paris!
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