OldHorts day out at Waterperry

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There is no post on my garden this weekend as I have been very busy doing after things and it rained on and off on Saturday so I didn’t spend much time in the garden. You can see how lush all the rain is making the garden.

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I spent today at Waterperry Gardens in Oxfordshire at my first OldHorts meet up.  What is OldHorts I hear you cry, or maybe mutter.  It has been set up more by chance than through any careful planning via twitter.  Back in March a conversation amongst some of the horticulturists led to a forum being set up for people who work or have an interest in horticulture.  This is not a worthy serious thing but more as an excuse to get together and in the process raise money for the two nominated horticultural charities – Perennial and Thrive.

2014_06080027The first meet up was back in May in London and I think just over 10 attending.  However, today we had an invite from the Head Gardener at Waterperry, Pat Havers, who have arranged to show us around.  I am told there were 36 members in attendance and a jolly bunch we were and despite the group name there were people from 20 up to 70.  Many of the members who or have worked in horticulture including gardeners and nurserymen and women, some were in training and then there was a few of us, like me, who are just plant mad and welcome any excuse for a day admiring plants.

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I haven’t visited Waterperry before although I have read about it particularly in terms of its founder Miss Havergal, who set up a gardening school for girls back in 1932, a quite revolutionary thing to do.  I was expecting to see the long borders (see above) which are some 200ft long but I hadn’t really engaged with other aspects of the garden.

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This was my favourite area, I think it is the Vase Garden.  I found the colours softer and I always like a curvaceous path.  There are also two long matching Colour Borders (they match in terms of colour not plants), a children’s school vegetable garden, a fritillary meadow, a rose garden and much more.

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After lunch we were shown around the orchards by Pat’s colleague, Chris, who explained the history of the orchards which supply the garden shop but are also used to produce fruit juice and cider.  We saw around the fruit press and also the cider making area and even got to try some juice and cider.  The day closed with a wonderful spread of cakes supplied by Pat’s team and a group photograph.

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It was great to spend time with like minded people, one or two I had met before, but the majority only via twitter.  It always amazes me how easy it is to start a conversation with people you have only met virtually before especially when you have a shared interest. All in all a wonderful and jolly day out and I shall definitely be going to another event.

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7 Comments Add yours

  1. Jardin says:

    Lovely tour of Waterperry … and what fun to spend the day with like-minded people.

  2. ownedbyrats says:

    Waterperry looks beautiful – and not too far from us! I think I feel a visit coming on. Thank you for the inspiration!

  3. Diana Studer says:

    a fritillary meadow? sounds like heaven on earth!

  4. Mary Yee says:

    Lovely post and photos but you really had me at the “cider” and “wonderful spread of cakes.” When I spent 5 months in England last year, I told my daughter about those magical words attached to descriptions of open gardens: “homemade teas and cakes.”

  5. Chris says:

    Excellent way to spend a day, Helen. It always fills me with joy to see a loved garden and talking to other plant-loving folk as well is a real bonus. All the best.

  6. Pauline says:

    Thanks for bringing back happy memories of a holiday at least 10 years ago when we had a wonderful visit to Waterperry. I don’t remember the vase garden, that looks a lovely space to explore. A Fritillary meadow sounds wonderful, I wonder if they have the same problem with pheasants as we do!

  7. Sounds like a lovely idea. A good portion of my friends and family drift off when I start rambling on about gardening and plants so sharing your interest with like the like minded must have been lots of fun. With cider and cakes too…

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