Wednesday 8th September, on a beautiful hot and sunny day, was our first organised outing for 18 months.
We headed to Church Gardens, Harefield, for a two-hour visit and tour led by head gardener Kay.
We learnt about their family restoration project of a 1600s renaissance garden, which had a very overgrown remains of a formal walled garden, with huge lengths of brick walls which go back to the 11th and 12th centuries.
Both Kay and her husband Patrick are hugely into recycling, self-sustaining, composting… No weed killers are used here. They show great respect for the history of this special place, even as far as giving a home to the local church organ pipes, which certainly make a statement in the garden—very quirky! (The Chelsea Flower Show comes to mind!)
Kay planted 5,000 bulbs in 2019 and this year had 21,000 crocuses! They are currently working on a large pond in the cobnut orchard and restoring an arcaded wall.
A spring visit will be on our list of outings next year including to taste again the lovely homemade cakes made by Kay’s daughters. We would certainly recommend to other WIs to visit and support this ‘oasis’, especially when you see the impact on the countryside by HS2 on your way to Harefield.