GILWERN
University of the Third Age
 
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  GARDEN GROUP  

Activities
The Gardening Group will generally meet or visit on the fourth Wednesday of the month.  The contact for the Group is: Jo Dawson on email: jodawson04@gmail.com

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Visit to Kentchurch Court Gardens on 5 June 2019
We had an amazing visit to Kentchurch Court Gardens.  It was an afternoon of walking around, mainly in the marvellous walled garden containing shrubs, trees and flowers, all surrounded by hills and parkland with deer and specimen trees.  Then there was, of course, the delicious tea and cakes.



Garden visit to Wenallt Isaf 24 May 2019
Up the very steep hill above Gilwern and into the spacious garden of Wenallt Isaf with its huge variety of shrubs and magnificent views.  We were met by Tim and Debbie and while Tim gave us an informative tour round the magnificent garden they had created over what was, when they arrived, a mass of unkempt bracken, Debbie described the house and looked after the less active amongst us.  What a transformation they had made over the years.  Nearly all the trees and hedges were created from cuttings, they keep hens and had an area reserved for keeping pigs (at present in the freezer!).  We passed a couple of beehives and inspected a productive vegetable plot.  We met their two dogs over a delicious tea with apple cake and rhubarb cake made by Tim. There were stunning views, especially from the top of their garden where they had strategically placed the odd bench for evening drinks to watch the sun go down with a glass of wine.



Visit to Great Campston House
The visit to Great Campston House on 14 May 2019 was clearly a great success with fantastic views on the clear and sunny day out across the valley.  It could be summed up with Anita's quote: "A wonderful visit on a glorious afternoon. Beautiful flower beds with tulips still looking good, tree peonys, specimen trees and extensive grounds with amazing views."

     


Visit to John and Olive Scurr 27 March 2019

Many will have been to the wonderfull snowdrop display, largely at the Scurr's entrance.  This visit again was welcomed with a floral display, this time daffodils.  There was a walk down to their developing Japanese Garden on the way down to the river, and back past the massive six or seven hundred year old oak (see picture below).  Finally a delicious tea with fantastic cakes!

     

     

Visit to Treberfydd Walled Garden

Alison with only one part time assistant runs a massive Victorian walled garden visited on 24 October 2018 by 11 members of U3A Garden Group.  She gave an interesting tour, illustrating so often the need to make the most of the different climates found within the high walls, and giving hints and advice through the examples of placing plants in the best conditions for them.  Her knowledge and understanding of the soils and plants was extremely impressive.

The view when entering the
garden.

Alison points out an aspect
of making use of the climate.
 


One of the well designed and
properly used greenhouses.

Illustrating the different conditions.
The house is just seen beyond the wall.
 


Visit to The Garden of the Wind.  The garden is near Walterstone in Herefordshire making a thoroughly enjoyable visit for eight members of the Gardens Group on 19 September. Here is a report and photos by Lynda Robinson:

It is a modern garden using swathes of herbaceous plants and grasses, surrounding a stone-built farmhouse and barns with stunning views of the Black Mountains. Special features are a rose border, an hornbeam alley, a formal parterre with unusual planting and a bespoke water rill with three fountains. There is a William Pye water feature, an architecturally designed greenhouse complex and very productive vegetable gardens. Carved lettering and sculpture can be admired throughout the garden which covers about 4 acres. There is also a Japanese garden from which Skirrid can be seen from an angle which, with a stretch of the imagination, could be Mount Fuji!

The day we visited was very windy so we were able to enjoy the movement of the many plants designed to look good when swaying. Mr Rupert Otten gave us an interesting talk about the development of the garden over the last 15 years since he and his wife, Antoinette, have owned it. The visit ended with tea and homemade courgette and chocolate cake.



 




Visit to Glebe House, Llanfair Kilgeddin.
On 27 June a rather small group visited the garden of Glebe House near Bettws Newydd.  A few photographs show a small part of a large garden which had different 'rooms' of garden varying from woodland, vegetable, and lovely herberacous borders.  The owner, who had developed the garden from scratch about thirty years ago took much trouble to guide the group, and she kindly provided refreshing drinks and then delicious cakes and tea.  
On the way home the group visited the nearby church of St Mary's with its famous Victorian Scraffito Murals.

Left: the group is given a delicious tea.

Right: Advantage was taken of visiting the nearby church with its scraffito. 
 


Visit to Lydney Park Gardens.  On 24 May a group visited the gardens near Lydney on a perfect afternoon of sunshine.  The photographs display something of the splendour of it all. 

Visit to Woodland Farm Gardens Penrhos. On 24 April six members of the Group spent a wet but thoroughly interesting afternoon visiting the gardens.  They were given a fascinating tour by Charles and Craig, followed by a delicious tea of homemade cakes and scones with cream and homemade jams.  It was a fascinating and enjoyable visit.

 
 



Visit to Home Farm, Huntley, on 28 March, by a small group of five started with a tour of the garden with its lovely outbuildings covered with a massive and well trained wisteria, while, opposite, was a huge Brown Turkey fig.  The tour then included about a one mile walk through woodland along an easily identified route with a good variety of spring flowers.

Many varieties of woodland wild flowers
 
Spectacular views over to the Cotswolds


2018 started with snowdrops.  On 14 February the Garden Group met for the afternoon to see the masses of snowdrops being cared for by Olive and John Scurr.  The Group also did a general tour of their lovely grounds taking in some trees of interest, and also seeing the work being done to create a Japanese garden.  The summer should bring it all to life with the new shrubs planted beside water features.



John Scurr with banks of their snowdrops
 
The early stages of part of the Scurrs' Japanese Garden

The visit to Dewstow Garden and Grotto in Caldicot was found by seven enthusiasts to be interesting and enjoyable.  The visit was organised by U3A Gilwern member Jean Wilding.

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