Date(s) - 14/07/2016
11:00 - 14:00
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West Dean Gardens
At a fully attended visit the ‘established’ good luck of the club held true and the weather was warm and sunny interspersed with some cloud during which temperatures dropped rapidly. We were greeted by the gardens supervisor Sarah Wain and she initially explained the West Dean estate consisted of the college (a renowned educational centre for crafts and conservation) and the gardens.
Sarah explained that with her husband, Jim Buckland, they had worked since 1991 restoring and developing the gardens, an activity still underway. We were given a guided tour of the walled garden which was subdivided into several sections. One section has a magnificent set of Victorian Glass houses, several of which being actively restored in front of us. The vegetable and fruit garden segment provided a worthy exemplar for any aspiring vegetable gardener.
The orchard segment was particularly interesting with its unusually pruned apples and pears, providing much productivity in a limited space whilst still maintaining a ‘standard tree’ like appearance – ideal for smaller gardens.
At the end of the tour we all wandered off to see the extensive parkland that held even more surprises; the pagoda, the spring garden with its odd sculptures, secret walkways and meandering river (Lavant).
For the braver there was even a 2 mile walk through the Arboretum.
For more info see https://www.westdean.org.uk/gardens/explore