Oxhill News

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South Warwickshire, England.

The Oxhill News

August 2015

This months News



Garden Club

I refer the reader to my report in the February Oxhill News on the talk given to the Garden Club by Anne Chambers owner of Kiftsgate Court near Chipping Campden which prompted a visit by club members to her gardens – an event which took place on the afternoon of Tuesday 15th July.

Those who had not been to Kiftsgate before were impressed by the scale of the operation – from the laden sale tables of plants in prime condition to the tea rooms that could cater for 80+ seated customers at any one time.  In the gardens themselves one found a new delight at virtually every step – a new specie, an unusual variety, striking juxtapositions of colour and form, and the discovery of yet another hidden corner of the gardens.

On this warm afternoon the gardens were alive with pollinating insects – white tailed bumblebees, hoverflies and even a day flying (hawk?) moth sipping nectar from the profusion of species in flower. I’m sure that the gardens would be just as colourful at any time from April through to September, but for us viewing conditions were just right – a cloudy sky (not too hot for flowers or visitors), the soil moist from recent rain (though the paths were dry) and a wind free day that allowed the various scents from the flowers to ‘drift’ into one’s consciousness.

Some of the party declined the trip to the lower gardens and pool (way, way below!) with the opportunity to traverse back and forth along a series of terraces on the way down where the plantings show the same love for plants, shrubs and trees that is so evident in the more accessible area around the buildings higher up. The view from the lower gardens and pool was to die for – as was the climb back up the stone steps to the main terrace!   Luckily I discovered a little used path through the adjoining woodland that provided a gentler route back and was rewarded with the sight of a profusion of foxgloves in the wild – some over six feet in height.  I, too, was able to sample some (forbidden?) fruit from a wild cherry tree towards the end of the climb.

For those who care about such things, the tubs of ice cream on sale were something special, the scones with strawberry jam and cream delicious, the ‘breakfast’ tea refreshing, and the loos spotless.

One cannot conclude without mentioning the Kiftsgate rose (Rosa filipes ‘Kiftsgate’). Sixty plus feet in height with panicles of flowers from ground level to the very tops of a number of ‘supporting’ trees. To state that there were tens of thousands of individual blooms on this one ‘plant’ would not be an exaggeration.

I, personally, have never enjoyed a garden visit more than this one and can wholeheartedly recommend the whole Kiftsgate ‘experience’.

Douglas Nethercleft

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Last modified: August 13, 2015