TUESDAY 13TH AUGUST
DEANS COURT, WIMBORNE, DORSET, BH21 1EE
Afternoon self-drive including cream tea
Members: £30 • Guests: £ 35
The earliest part of the house formed part of the important Saxon monastery of Wimborne, founded in 705 AD. For the next three centuries it was probably the home of the Abbesses. Although the monastery was sacked by the Danes in 1015, the house survived and in 1043 became the Deanery to the College of the Minster which flourished until the Reformation. In 1548 John Hanham, MP for Poole and a Commissioner for Dorset, was appointed to seize the Church lands in and around Wimborne, and duly acquired the house with some 4,000 acres. His descendants have lived here ever since. The fine red brick facades were added in 1725, and the Saxon hall was remodelled in 1868 with the addition of stained glass windows incorporating reclaimed panels of Elizabethan armorial glass.
The garden of 13 acres, set within the estate in the Stour valley, features some unusual mature specimen trees and a Saxon fishpond which fed the inhabitants of Wimborne’s monastery between 8th and 11th centuries. The American Swamp Cypress and Tulip tree (both over 100ft tall) were planted by explorer Thomas Hanham on his return from a voyage to the New World in 1607.
DEANS COURT PROGRAMME
2.00pm | Meet at Deans Court
2.15pm | Garden tour starts
4.00pm | Cream tea in the dining room
THURSDAY 19TH SEPTEMBER
The Holt, Upham, SO32 1HR
Morning self-drive with tea, coffee & cake
Members: £16 • Guests: £ 20
Home of the new HGT Chairman, Ted Wake, The Holt has been farmed and managed by the same family for three generations. With a dynamic farming enterprise at its heart, the business is run to make it as sustainable and environmentally friendly as possible. It is a mixed farm, divided into arable, woodland and pasture which is grazed by native breeds of Red Ruby Devon cattle and Wiltshire Horn sheep. The house remains at the heart of the estate which includes ten let cottages and The Old Workshop, which has been sympathetically converted to create a large, open-plan building available for Estate functions and external meetings.
The family take great pride in managing the farm to improve and develop biodiversity throughout the estate which lies within the South Downs National Park. It is also a founding member of the recently formed Winchester Downs Farm Cluster Group.
Holt is the Saxon word for wood. The woodland is “semi-ancient” mainly beech, oak and ash interspersed with areas of softwood. Woods need managing and we have just embarked on a twenty year woodland management plan which involves thinning the trees, removing introduced softwood trees and coppicing hazel and chestnut. We are also widening open rides to encourage a broad range of flora and fauna including a number of butterflies. We have installed a woodfuel biomass boiler which produces hot water and heating for five properties (including the Old Workshop) using wood chipped from the estate.
THE HOLT PROGRAMME
10:30am | Meet at The Old Workshop
10.45am | Introduction by Ted Wake followed by hot drink & cake
11.15am | Start of Garden Tour
12.30pm | Depart
WEDNESDAY 25th SEPTEMBER
Bury Court, Farnham, GU10 5LZ
Full day self drive including lunch
Members: £30 • Guests: £ 35
Bury Court dates back over many centuries, showing up as possibly a small village on 17th century maps. It was a thriving hop farm until the 1980s and in the mid 1990s became the base for a marvellous plant nursery, Green Farm Plants, when the present owner, John Coke, inherited it.
The contemporary walled garden, designed by Piet Oudolf, was created from the concrete farmyard and is now a well-known show garden specializing in grasses and hardy perennials.
The original threshing barn, thought to have been moved to this site in the 1930s, was fully restored and converted in 2002. It now provides a vibrant venue for events ranging from exclusive weddings to dynamic corporate functions with exciting concerts and opera in between.
The gardens at Bury Court date from 1996 when the first garden was created on the site of the old partially walled farmyard. This garden was the show garden for the specialist perennial nursery, Green Farm Plants. When the nursery closed in 2003 the garden became part of the events venue but is still open to the public on Plantsman’s Days, from April to September, and by appointment.
BURY COURT PLANTSMAN’S DAY PROGRAMME
11:00am | Meet
11.30am | Talk & demonstration
12.30pm | Lunch
2.00pm | Garden Tour
WEDNESDAY 2ND OCTOBER
Arundells, Salisbury, SP1 2EN
Morning self drive
Members: £15 • Guests: £18
Located within Salisbury’s magnificent Cathedral Close, this charming house is the former home of Sir Edward Heath KG MBE – Prime Minister, statesman, sailor and musician.
Arundells remains home to Sir Edward’s personal collection of paintings, ceramics, photographs, cartoons, detailed models of his five Morning Cloud yachts, his Steinway piano and a wide range of music, sailing and political memorabilia.
The peaceful garden, with lawns, mature trees and borders, was redesigned in 1985 to Sir Edward’s wishes and has remained unchanged over the intervening years. Two particular features are the spectacular views of the spire of Salisbury Cathedral, and the tranquil frontage to the confluence of the River Avon and the River Nadder.
11:00am | The first guided tour of the house followed by a garden tour
Tours last 75 minutes
NB | It might be that the group is split into two depending on how many members
sign up to this event. Each group will alternate between the tour of the house and the garden
TUESDAY 8TH OCTOBER
Exbury Gardens, Exbury, SO45 1HR
Morning self drive
Members: £18 • Guests: £20
Exbury Gardens was the inspiration of Lionel Nathan de Rothschild. It was his vision, his dedication and his resources which have created one of the finest woodland gardens in the country. Lionel was born in 1882 into the famous banking family. By the mid-19th century, the Rothschilds were at the peak of their financial power and prestige throughout Europe. As was expected of Lionel, he took up a career in the family bank. In 1912 he married Marie-Louise Beer by whom he had four children, Rosemary, Edmund, Naomi and Leopold.
During our garden visit we will be visiting the new ‘secret’ centenary garden designed by RHS gold medal award-winning designer Marie-Louise Agius, great grand-daughter of Exbury Gardens’ founder Lionel de Rothschild. Hidden from public view for almost two years, this contemporary garden contains subtle nods to the Rothschild family history and has been planted with a particular focus on late summer.
We will also be discovering the story behind Exbury Gardens and the people that made it happen in their new exhibition. Located just outside the visitor entrance, the display aims to share Exbury’s unique history and showcase photographs of the gardens and staff across the last 100 years.
EXBURY GARDENS PROGRAMME
10.30am | Meet
11.00am | Set off with senior guide for the garden tour
12.30pm | Guided tour finishes, depart at your leisure