Traditionally we've had outings only in summer but this year we started early, at Dial Park, Chaddesley Corbett in February. Taking pride of place at the end of the drive was a splendid pot of Scoliopus Bigelowii. Susceptible to frost damage perhaps, but I thought they were wonderful. I tried pointing them out to others who had missed the rather dull coloured pot. They seemed polite but distinctly unimpressed. Perhaps they were overwhelmed by the magnificently colourful displays of crocuses, hellebores, snowdrops, iris, aconites ... I'm told it's even better in the summer, but here is a taster of February.
On one of the few fine days this summer, we visited two contrasting gardens. Hampton Court was designed with opening to the public in mind, whereas Stockton Bury has grown from a private garden. To a great extent the design, choice of planting and overall feel of them reflects this. Everyone seemed to really like at least one of them, and found much food for thought in both. The Spring Newsletter has an article giving a brief background on the gardens, and the Autumn Newsletter has a report on the visit.