Summer Garden Coffee Mornings, 2015

Two coffee mornings have been arranged this year and we are grateful to Ann Sheppard and John Taylor, and Win and David Botterill who have offered to host them. Roger Smith had also offered to host a coffee morning but we now hope to visit his garden next year. The coffee mornings start at 10:00am and finish at 12:00pm or 12:30pm. The cost is £2 (includes coffee), but you may also be asked for a contribution to, or to buy plants to support, the host's favourite charity.

Wednesday 6 May - 10.00am to 12.00

Ann Sheppard and John Taylor, 1 Church Cottage, Church Road, Defford, WR8 9BJ

1/3 acre country man’s garden. Interesting layout; Japanese-style feature with new ‘dragons den’; specimen trees; water features; vegetable garden; poultry; cider making. Perennial garden under construction.

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Ann and John, expecting the start of building works to the rear of their cottage at any time and with consequential disruption to the garden, had worked hard on the presentation, as the open day was rather earlier in the year than they would have preferred.

Behind Defford Church they have an attractive black-and-white cottage, with box-edged compartments at the front where the planting can be changed to suit the season. At the rear of the house, there is a very long garden, not much wider than the property, reached down a narrow passageway alongside the garage. You arrive at a paved patio and open lawned area. On sunny days this is a wonderful sitting out area for meals and coffee mornings. However, on May 6th, it persistently rained! Being Hardy Planters, the members moved onto the shaded planting areas and a woodland walk with specimen trees, to water features and a Japanese-influenced tea house, maples, bamboo and fish pond. After a productive large polytunnel, almost filling the width of the garden, four colourful flower beds were revealed, backed by one of the numerous sitting places to be found tucked away in cosy corners (some with welcome shelter!). The neat vegetable patch followed on and a variety of fruit trees and bushes, together with two smaller glass hoses for seed propagation and potting benches. The friendly murmur of contented hens greeted you at the end of the enjoyable journey, by the plant sales, tool shed and ‘clutter’ corner. The whole experience is testament to John’s inventive hard landscaping enhanced by Ann’s ‘way with flowers’ and the coffee and cake made a satisfying finale – in spite of the rain.

Judith Davis

Tuesday 21 July - 10.00am to 12.30pm

Win and David Botterill, The Tythe Barn, Darlingscott, Shipston on Stour, CV36 4PN

From Evesham or Broadway direction proceed to Mickleton. Drive through village to left bend signed Stratford to the left and Illmington slightly to the right. Take this Illmington road, and in Illmington village follow signs to Shipston, until arriving in Darlingscott. Keeping Darlingscott church on the right, continue to a SMALL cross-roads, and turn left. Drive approximately 100 yards around a right bend (then see de-restriction sign ahead), drive to venue, which is on left and will be signposted. Park in orchard on the right. If you get lost down country lanes ring the house (01608 682644) and, hopefully, you can be guided in!