Thirty members of the society made their way to West Green House, Hartley Wintney , for the first visit of the year on Wednesday the 4th of May. Operated by the National Trust since 1993 the garden was designed by Marylyn Abbott and at this time of the year the main attraction is the tulips. After a quick cup of coffee in the café, which served the most delicious cakes, it was time to explore this delightful garden which dates back over 200 years.
There was plenty to see, including a lake with naturalised daffodils around the edges and a path flanked by two Japanese-style gardens complete with red dragons. The moon gate led to a folly by way of steps edged with rills and everywhere throughout the garden there was topiary of every size and shape.
Tucked away in one corner was a smaller garden with a very elegant hen house for some delightful chickens who had some very superior blue "delft" water baths and a willow-pattern wall mural. Of course there were tulips everywhere, so many different varieties, in all colours and shapes. At the entrance of the garden were large tubs filled with white doubles which resembled peonies and other pots contained beautiful red and white parrot-type tulips making a stunning display. Although the weather was a little overcast in the morning it was pleasantly warm, and by the afternoon the sun had come out and after an excellent lunch in the café tea was taken in the garden to make the most of the day.
The Summer Show will be held on Saturday the 2nd of July; if you are thinking of taking part do check your schedules. There are lots of classes to choose from and by then our gardens should all be in full bloom providing
plenty of flowers and vegetables to put on the show bench.