The first visit of the summer season was to ‘The Old Post Office’, Kettlesing, on Friday 4 May.
This coincided with the second day of the Tour de Yorkshire, which was going through Ilkley in the late afternoon. Despite this everyone appeared to arrive on time. Andrew and Angela Durance used to run a nursery but have now retired. They now spend time their time visiting places where the plants they propagated for years came from. It was a hot, balmy evening and the garden was looking good.
The stream-side garden is surrounded on the side away from the house by a wooded area.
There were a number of different species of trillium and erythronium which were thriving in the shade.
The azaleas and other spring-flowering shrubs were in full bloom.
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Ruth Baumberg is an excellent photographer and has sent me three images of this garden.
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The second visit was to ‘Ridgefield Cottage Nursery’, Knaresborough, on Thursday 14 June.
Jo & Tony Pickering bought the property 25 years ago. The site had been a nursery for over 100 years, growing conifers, wallflowers and fruit trees. The mound planted orchard was a method of growing fruit trees on piles of rubble and soil to raise their roots above the wet clay. The new herbaceous plants and shrubs are in circular beds under the ancient fruit trees. As the fruit trees have died or blown over, they have been replaced by specimen trees including Acers, Cercis Forest Pansy, Liquidamber and Cornus Norman Haddon to name a few.
The circular beds are edged by large stones, which Tony acquired through his job, which includes building gardens.
The weather was kind to us and once again the sun shone. We were welcomed with a glass of wine and canapés, and some delicious home-made cakes.
Jo runs a nursery and is well known to our members as she has had a regular plant stall at our biennial conference and lends plants for the Harrogate Flower Shows. Needless to say many members visited the nursery and bought plants.
The final visit of the summer season was to Home Farm, East Carlton, on Friday 10 August.
The weather was glorious for our last evening visit to Home Farm, and the garden was a sheer delight. Sarah Crowson started to develop the garden 4 years ago when her sons had left home. The front garden was quite formal with a pleasant planting scheme. The walled garden at the rear of the house was delightful, full of surprises with a lovely colour pallet, and some beautiful specimen plants, and repeat planting. In addition there were some lovely pots around the house.
Sarah is in the process of developing the field / orchard. We were closely observed by the two Alpacas in the adjacent field. Many of the group were envious of her wonderful potting shed.
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The refreshments which included delicious cakes and a glass of wine or tea /coffee, rounded off a very successful evening visit to a beautiful and evolving garden.