Spring/Summer Events (all sold out)

Wednesday 15th May

Crichel House, Moor Crichel,
Wimborne, BH21 5DT

Morning self-drive with tea & coffee on arrival

Members: £30.00 • Guests: £ 35.00

by kind permission of Mr & Mrs Richard Chilton

The present house was built in 1742 by Sir William Napier.  Sir Humphry Sturt added extra rooms around the original core and brought in Thomas Wyatt to design the interiors.  The 1st Lord Allington conducted further works in 1876, making changes to the stable block and adding a north wing and gate lodge.

The house was initially requisitioned by the Air Ministry in 1938 before becoming a home for Dumpton School and then Cranborne Chase School until 1961.  At this stage, the estate and house were taken back in hand by the Hon Mrs Marten, who comprehensively modernised the inside of the house and set out the northern part of the walled garden that you see today.

The estate was sold to Richard and Maureen Chilton in 2013 and they have continued with restoration work on the house, church and gardens.


10:30am      :      Meet at Crichel House
10.45am      :      Enjoy morning tea/coffee and introductory talk
11.00am      :      Set off on guided tour
12.30pm      :      Depart

A local award winning pub recommended for stop off on the way home is The Langton Arms DT11 8RX – (serving lunch from midday until 2.30pm).  This is approx. 6 miles from Crichel House (a 15 minute drive).   Table reservations are a must.  Please contact them directly if you would like to book a table.

Thursday 23 May

West Green House Gardens, Hartley Wintney, Hampshire RG27 8JB

Morning self-drive with guided tour followed by a soup/sandwich lunch

Members: £30.00 • Guests: £ 35.00

Nestling in a woodland corner of Northern Hampshire, the gardens of West Green House surround one of the prettiest manor houses in England. It is a garden with a special and distinctive sense of place created over two decades by Marylyn Abbott a renowned Australian garden designer whose twin passions for English Gardens and International Opera have created a unique environment.

West Green House Gardens combines neo-classical style with contemporary design. A grand water staircase provides a focal point to the Nymphaeum Fountain designed by architect Quinlan Terry. The magnificent Walled Garden, faithfully restored to its original lines, is entered through an arbor of wisteria. An alley of apple trees divides an elaborate potager with its berry-filled fruit cages, annual flowers and colourful vegetables from its signature perennial borders exuberantly planted in subtle hues of mauve, plum and blue.

West Green House Garden offers four seasons of beauty, contrast and inspiration, with its stunning planting, dazzling colour and touch of humour.


10:30am      :      Meet at West Green House Gardens
10.45am      :      Introductory talk, set off on guided tour
12.30pm      :      Soup and Sandwich Lunch (included in the price)
1.30pm        :      Continue looking around at your leisure

Why not treat yourself to An Afternoon Tea!

Traditional Afternoon Tea is prepared on the premises and served on lovely tiered china stands. Tea includes sandwiches, scones, cakes and speciality pastries and can be complemented by a glass of fizz as an extra treat.

Afternoon Tea is served between 2.30pm and 3.30pm

Wednesday 26 June

Horatio’s Garden and Heale Garden, Salisbury

Full Day Coach Visit

Members: £40.00  Guests:  £45.00 (to include refreshments at Horatio’s Garden)

Horatios Garden, Salisbury District Hospital

This is the first Horatio’s Garden,  named after Horatio Chapple who was a volunteer at the hospital before he was killed by a polar bear at the age of 17.   It is part of the Spinal Treatment Centre.   Designed by Cleve West, the garden brilliantly incorporates the form of a spine in a series of low limestone walls.  Plants have been chosen for their aesthetic and multi sensory qualities, grasses to catch the wind, herbs to smell and taste, shrubs and trees for texture and the calming sound of water flowing into a long rill.  Everywhere the benefits of nature can be found.  Stephen Hackett, the Head Gardener, will show us round and explain how the garden works to benefit the patients.    Your ticket includes a £15 donation per person to this worthwhile cause.

 Heale House Gardens, Middle Woodford, Salisbury

By kind permission of Frances Rasch

Heale was designed by Harold Peto in 2010, who planted yew hedges and laid stone terraces, balustrades and wide shallow steps.    This is an idyllic English garden – tunnels of apple trees, a walled vegetable garden, musk roses against faded red brick.   However, there is also a Japanese garden with a tea house and red Nikki bridge, spanning the trout filled streams.  Described by Anna Pavord as ‘An entrancing place to visit, the elegant house poised in a many layered garden of great beauty’.



10.00am    :    Coach departs St Catherine’s Park & Ride, Winchester
11.00am    :    Arrive Horatio’s Garden
12.30pm    :    Depart.  Pub lunch en route
2.00pm      :    Arrive Heale House Gardens
3.30pm      :    Depart


This is a coach trip from Winchester because of the difficult parking at Salisbury District Hospital.  We shall have a pub lunch en route and there is a cafe at Heale.   Neither lunch or afternoon refreshments are included in the ticket price.

Horatio’s Garden


Heale Garden


Tuesday 9 July

Radcot House, Radcot, Bampton,
Oxfordshire OX18 2SX

Morning self drive

Members: £15.00 • Guests: £ 18.00

The Garden

The bones of this garden were laid out in the 1930s but apart from the walls and hedges not much remained when Robin and Jeanne Stainer started their restoration and redevelopment ten years ago. The garden is divided by the North/South beech avenue. To the East the long pond has relaxing seating at both ends; on the other side of the yew divide winding paths lead to the woodland garden’s central pavilion.  To the West, the two mirrored borders were inspired by Buscot Park while around the house the garden is more formal with intensively planted beds in vibrant and exotic colours.

Radcot House

Radcot House, held by Colonel Palmer and his men, was besieged by the Roundheads towards the very end of the Civil War. Palmer held out for six weeks, until overwhelmed on 24th May 1646.


“One of Oxfordshire’s most delightful gardens”     Southmoor and Kingston Bagpuize Gardening Club

“Radcot House is the most inspiring garden I have ever been to….”    Derek Cope, landscape architect

‘”…beautiful and inspirational planting… surprises around every corner..”    Cheqs Gardening Club

“I was taken by the beauty of the lawns of fine grass, which reflect the effort that has gone into the garden as much as the borders do”                                                                John Grimshaw




10.30am    :    Meet at Radcot, Welcome Introduction
10.45am    :    Start the garden tour (help yourself to tea & coffee at your leisure)
12.45pm    :    Depart

Monday 22 July

Woolton House, Nr Newbury, RG20 9TZ


Morning self drive

Members: £20.00 • Guests: £25.00

Spectacular, contemporary walled garden set in 4 acres, designed by Pascal Cribier with influence of Mondrian and planted in blues and yellows, interspersed with vegetables. Unique red and green ‘tramline’ garden. Red courtyard picking garden and new walled sedum and cactus garden. Rose garden with majestic pond. Stunning use of colour and texture.



10.30am :  Arrive Woolton House for tea/coffee and scones
11.00am :  Tour of garden
12.30pm :  Depart