Hole Park and Tenterden  Wednesday 3rd May

 Unfortunately as we arrived to board the coach it was our first rainy day for some time. However spirits were high (true allotment fashion) as we set off, but it soon became obvious the coach was not behaving as it should, after grinding and jerking as far as Challock, and with a stream of traffic behind us, we pulled up. Discussions with coach office followed, and it was discovered, by the then red-faced driver, that he had inadvertently been driving in manual gear, when he thought it was in automatic.  Poor chap.  All breathing a sigh of relief, we made good time to our destination.

Hole Park is a privately owned home, allowing visits to the gardens only. The tea/coffee and cakes on arrival were delicious, we were all contemplating braving the elements, when Edward Barham, the owner, approached me and suggested he set up a slide show depicting the history of his family home. What a treasure trove of anecdotes he told us, not least how his great grandfather had bought the house and land and setting up what was to become Express Dairies, there were family photos from WW1 too. Edward was both charming and amusing and we all fell under his spell for his obvious love of his home and family.  By this time the rain had stopped and we were taken out into the garden by Edward with his beloved dogs.  He explained his visions for opening up different aspects of the garden and the vistas this is creating. there are few formal layouts, his passion is for the trees and shrubs. The arbors  with the wisterias were amazing, and weddings take place nearby. He left us to wander the extensive bluebell woods, really breathtakingly beautiful, especially with their perfume freshened by the rain. Lunches were available for those that wanted them and they also had a small plant shop.

Eventually it was time to leave and Edward and his staff came and said goodbye at the coach.   A short journey took us on to Tenterden, where we had time to wander and those that had booked enjoyed a cream tea in The Lemon Tree,  all very civilised.  Back on the coach, everyone agreed it had been an enjoyable day out,  in spite of the damp start.

  If anyone wants to suggest venues for the future I shall put a notice in the shop, at Eddington, and give them due consideration.

 Meanwhile, A BIG thank you to all who support the outings, and participate in making them a success.


 

 

Godinton House and Gardens Tuesday 13th June

 Weather was stunning and perfect this time.  We arrived to our usual tea/coffee and cakes and again no disappointment there.  Splitting into 3 smaller groups were went on a wonderfully, informative tour of the house. Then back to a simple snack lunch.  Then plenty of time in the beautiful gardens. John W has written a wonderful piece so will not bore you with more. Thank you John. Needless to say it was a great day out.

 Margaret and Martin