|Members of the Oxford & District AGS Group inspect the parallel borders.|
For the past couple of weeks I have been immersed in writing a massive article, but on Thursday evening I escaped and joined the Oxford & District AGS Group for a visit to the Old Rectory, Farnborough. Located in a small village perched high on the Berkshire Downs and surounded by rolling farmland it has a wonderful setting. The Old Rectory itself dates to about 1749, and has been owned for the past forty-some years by our hosts Caroline and Michael Todhunter, who in that have time have created a truly splendid garden, full of interest. Caroline is one of the best sorts of compulsive gardeners and together with her fulltime gardener Dan, and a part-time help, keeps the largish plot in immaculate order. Unfortunately it was a chilly, gloomy evening, so the photographs aren't scintillating, but they give an idea of the diversity of the planting and garden areas found here. It is very well-worth visiting.
|A deceptively wild-looking section of the herbaceous border.|
|Tulipa 'Shirley', generously planted in a large pot, spilling out in voluptuous elegance.|
|There is a good collection of trees at the Old Rectory, including a well-planted small arboretum. This is Aesculus pavia 'Rosea Nana', with which I was not previously familiar. Great spring colour!|
|The Old Rectory is next open for the National Gardens Scheme on 17 June: see the Yellow Book or NGS website for details.|
|The former Poet Laureate, John Betjeman, lived in the house for a few years, and in the adjacent church is this beautiful window made by John Piper in his memory.|