Felicity Rixmann, Master Gardener
This year, the Illinois Master Gardeners overseas trip was to England, and in late June and early July, the gardens are at their best. We spent the first five nights in Stratford-On-Avon and enjoyed all that the Cotswolds have to offer. Later, we went to Dover, Oxford and Windsor and enjoyed the Hampton Court Flower Show—the biggest in the world! We saw gardens run by the National Trust and English Heritage and lots of privately owned gardens too. My favorite garden was Eastleach in Gloucestershire. Visit the http://www.eastleach.org/ for photos and additional information.
The gardens at Eastleach are laid out over 14 acres and made up of several individual themed gardens. There are four pools, and in places it is very steep. The south lawn in surrounded by high hedges backing herbaceous beds. An ornate gate in the center of the hedge opens to the Avenue, a long, wide walk with a double row of Linden trees on either side. In the middle is a topiary gazebo with a statue of a stag in the center. Then a walk through the Arboretum to a beautiful secluded sitting area with a water lily pool surrounded by a hedge of climbing roses.
The Rill garden is built into the slope of the land on the west side of the house. Water falls in a series of show “steps” from the terrace to a pool some 50 feet below surrounded all around by flower beds.
My favorite was the walled garden. Surrounded by trees, hedges and old walls, gravel paths lead between haphazard flower beds. Climbing roses dangle from the arches. Benches are tucked away for sitting and resting awhile. It is a place for the elderly to enjoy and watch children rush along another path after discovering all the hiding places. This was a very happy tour thanks to all the hard work of our organizers.
On a different note, my daughter, Hilary, is Wwooofing (working with the World Wide Organization of Organic Foods) in France, and she sent me this notice from outside a church. Fortunately, she translated it for me, “It is possible that when entering a church, you hear the call of God. However, it is unlikely that He will contact you by telephone. Please switch off your mobile phone.” Great—isn’t it?
PS: Don’t forget the Master Gardener Plant Swap (bring a plant; take a plant) on September 24th in the library parking lot in Nashville.
Illinois Master Gardeners
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