The first garden of the visit was Spilsbury Farm House, Tisbury. The garden has been described as one of total delight. After coffee/tea we were given a tour of the garden and seeing its geometry and pattern, in which topiary plays a part. There was a generous, glorious, profusion of flowering plants and shrubs where nature had been given the upper hand. Tania Compton, a garden designer and her husband Jamie, a botanist, created the garden after moving to Spilsbury 20 years ago. The garden melds into a stream, meadow and has the backdrop of an Iron Age hilltop in the countryside beyond.
Old School House
After a wonderful lunch laid on by Maryan (wife of the organiser) and taken under a special awning (to keep us legal) in the garden David, the organiser of the day, has created since they moved in six years ago.
Shute House Gardens
After lunch it was on to Shute House Gardens, Donhead St Mary, a water garden created in 1969 by Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe, his favourite garden and some say his finest work. The present owners John and Suzy Lewis guided us round the garden they have restored, with the help of Sir Geoffrey himself.
Of particular interest to members was the box parterre containing six gardens of different themes and a box amphitheatre. The rill, which musically tumbled down from the river Nadder at the top of the garden to the Kashmiri bubble fountains below, is world famous. Sir Geoffrey drew on history, philosophy, psychology and art with the intention of influencing the mood and behaviour of the visitor.
Thanks to David Melanies for arranging the day in conjunction with Neil and Di Cave, Maryan for the lunch and Caroline Foley for the photographs.