Firstly, can I thank the writers of the varied, and what I hope you will find interesting, articles? I was hoping that I could get an article on “Brewing in East Anglia”, but it will have to wait until 2011 as it looks as though I will have to write it, as I have failed, after two years of trying, to get anything out of Greene King, but I have not given up. I was hoping to have an article on garden design but I think that will also come next year.
I am grateful to our advertisers, particularly those who have supported us for a second time. It has been interesting to analyse the way people visit our website and to see what they read, for example there were over eighty six different key words used to pick up the article on wallpapers. Over six hundred people read the article and most of these were from the USA. Coles have had a number of orders which they attribute to the article and their advertisement. Please support this year’s advertisers if you possibly can.
Deltaprint and the “team” have once again done sterling work in getting the magazine to print.
Once again I am grateful to Rory O’Brien and Michael Goodbody for proofreading this magazine.
Our first garden visit to East Ruston Old Vicarage took place on 1st July. Twenty eight people boarded a bus in Bures and stopped for a very pleasant lunch at The Olive Branch, Tunstead, just a short way from East Ruston. We spent some two hours wandering around the garden and quite a lot of plants were purchased from the shop. Whilst the whole garden is fascinating, the wild flower meadow was at its best, as were many of the roses. There are so many aspects to the garden that it is impossible to do it justice unless you are a garden writer, which I am not!
Garden Visit 2010
In last year’s Magazine I suggested that in 2010 we might go to Bradenham Hall in Norfolk. However, I understand that the herbaceous garden is undergoing a makeover and we will have to wait until it has settled down.
I asked for suggestions of gardens that we could visit and Down House, the home of Charles Darwin, was put forward. I therefore went to see it in the late summer, but whilst the house and its contents and displays were fascinating, the garden is disappointing and the whole visit took under two hours. It is a relatively long way to go for such a short visit, although I would strongly recommend a visit if you are in the area.
I have therefore decided that we should go to Sissinghurst Castle in Kent, coupled with Great Dixter at Northiam. Sissinghurst is a National Trust property and was the home of Vita Sackville West and her husband Sir Harold Nicholson. She was a renowned gardener and I was captivated by the whole place when I visited in 2007. The house is now used by Sara Raven who is married to the Nicholson’s grandson, Adam Nicholson. She is a well known writer and gardener in her own right. The NT says that the best time to visit is June and I have provisionally booked a coach for Tuesday 22nd June. Great Dixter is only thirteen miles from Sissinghurst and was the home of the late Christopher Lloyd, who was an exceptional gardener and writer. The house is one of the best examples of a timber framed hall in England and was built around 1440. The garden is of renowned quality. The cost of the coach ONLY is £17.50 per person. Entry to Sissinghurst is free to NT Members but costs £9.80 per person for non members. I may be able to get this reduced to £7.80 if there are sufficient non-members in the group. There is a good cafeteria on site where we can have lunch. Having visited Sissinghurst we will go to Great Dixter. The cost of entry here is £9.35 for house and garden, and £7.70 garden only. There are discounts for OAPs. You can look at both gardens if you “Google” “Sissinghurst Castle”, and “Great Dixter Gardens”. We will aim to leave from outside The Eight Bells Public House in Colchester Road, Bures at 09.00. The Bures Car Park may be full up as this is Bures School drop off time. You will have to find somewhere to park in the vicinity. We would expect to be back by 19.00. However the traffic at the Dartford Crossing can be very problematical. Can you please e-mail me or complete the enclosed form if you want to come on this visit? As I am once again underwriting the cost of the coach, I need your response as soon as possible. I will then get in touch with you to confirm your place. I am afraid there can be no refunds once you have paid.
This is obviously going to be a very popular visit as 63 of you have asked to go. Unfortunately numbers will be limited by Highgrove and may be as few as twenty five. I think we are likely to get a date for 2011. As I wrote in last year’s Magazine, acceptance onto the final list, when we have a date, will be on a first come first served basis. You will be notified of the date by e-mail, or, if you do not have e-mail, by telephone. There will be NO refunds if you drop out having got onto the final list, and paid for the coach.
Highgrove have introduced an entrance fee, currently £15.00 per person.