Wednesday 7th May saw our small party of 20 or so gather at Newcastle Central Station for the start of our four day trip to Tewkesbury and surrounding area. It was a bit dull and overcast, but otherwise dry – unlike the days to come! Irene had organised a really exciting programme for us, which included two private gardens (Hillbark near Leeds and Dorset House in the West Midlands), three nurseries (Avondale, Hoo House and Harrells Hardy Plants), two stately homes (Hidcote and Wentworth Castle) and, of course, a day at the Malvern Spring Festival.
Our first stop was at the Lanercost Tea Rooms, next door to Lanercost Priory. I would have liked a wander around the Priory, but the freshly-baked scones were just far too tempting!
Val Corbett came to talk to The North East Group on a rather pleasant afternoon in March. She was billed (by me) as simply a garden photographer, yet I had no idea that she’s a lot more than that: she travels the UK on behalf of Country Life magazine taking photographs of some of the most stunning gardens in the country, and many of her shots end up on the cover of the magazine. I have since found out that she’s also responsible for many of the most beautiful postcards from the Lake District.