Club News for March 2017

For the first meeting of 2017, the Club invited Clare and Gary Matthews to talk about the on-going restoration of Easton Lodge’s gardens by The Gardens of Easton Lodge Preservation Trust.

After a brief history of the Lodge and its past owners, especially Darling Daisy, the Countess of Warwick, members were told about how the estate had evolved from a hunting lodge park to a Grade II listed garden. In 1902, Harold Peto redesigned the gardens for the Countess – with a ‘free hand and unlimited budget’.

The land around the house was transformed and became a series of skilfully-linked gardens. After years of neglect, the Trust and its team of helpers are slowly bringing these gardens back to their full glory and members were shown ‘before and after’ photographs – the most dramatic being after the donation of 100 tons of gravel!

The current project is the 1.9 acre walled garden which is slowly being ‘tamed’. The gardens are only open on specific Public Open Days throughout the spring and summer (see The owners of Warwick Lodge are very supportive to the Trust and open their adjoining parkland for visitors on these days so that they can appreciate how the estate looked in its heyday. To encourage more visitors, refreshments are available at Daisy’s Tea Room and there is a dedicated children’s area for the younger visitors.

Club News for February 2017

“Where did that come from?” was the theme of Julie Pollard’s evening of flower arranging.


Every display was accompanied by a brief history of the subject it portrayed, as well as personal memories, anecdotes and general hints on displaying the flowers. The subjects were varied and ranged from Ice Cream to Christmas via John Tradescant!!


Using her years of experience in the retail industry, members were also shown how to gift wrap awkward shaped parcels and how to hand tie a bouquet of flowers.


The members’ Green Bowl Photographic Competition was won by Monica Dudley’s Summer Flower Meadow at Ickleton House. 2nd place was Paul Embleton and 3rd place was Pat Allen. The subject of the competition was My ‘highlight’ from a garden visit – anything from a vista to a bench. Congratulations to all.

Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start writing!

October 2016

Mrs Sue Robinson, our September speaker, gave a talk on “The Gardens of Gertrude Jekyll & Edwin Lutyens.

Members were given “a photographic tour” around some of the many gardens that these two experts, one in horticulture and the other in architecture, influenced over the decades they worked together.

As we visited each garden, the ‘trademarks’ of their styles were pointed out – the overflowing herbaceous borders in hot or cool colours; the varying levels in the garden incorporating water; semi-circular steps leading to balustraded terraces; the Lutyens style garden bench; the various building fabrics used in the garden for paths, patios and similarly on each building to emphasise doors and features; the tall chimneys; windows with small panes of glass strategically placed to take advantage of the vistas – their skills complimented each other and they became the “dream team” of house and garden design in the early 20th Century.

Gertrude Jekyll provided garden designs or planned plantings for 400+ gardens, of which almost half were created as a collaboration with Lutyens. Many of the meticulous plans that Gertrude Jekyll produced have been preserved and although over time numerous gardens have been lost the National Trust, English Heritage and some of the larger private houses are now using these plans to restore their gardens to the how they were initially envisaged.

Her skill and passion for gardening was recognised by the RHS and she was awarded the Victoria Medal of Honour in 1897 and the Veitch Memorial Medal in 1929.