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Thenford House, June 2014

Creativity and Historicity in Oxfordshire and Northamptonshire

Thenford Gardens Thenford Gardens and Arboretum, Thenford, Near Banbury, Oxfordshire OX17 2BX

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Our first garden tour of the year will be the garden of Thenford, near Banbury, Oxfordshire. It has been described by Christopher Woodward, Director of the Garden Museum,  as a ‘must- see for every gardener. It is one of the epic gardens of modern times but, at the same time- like all the best gardens- very personal, containing a multiplicity of stories… about the lives, travels and friendships of Lord and Lady Heseltine.’ Our first objective will be to take the (longish) walk to see the topiary in the walled garden and the spectacular avenues of topiary cones that line the rill.

On arrival, at 10 am, there will be coffee or tea with biscuits before we are taken on our tour. In addition to our guide all the nine gardeners will be available to answer questions. A light lunch will be taken at Thenford, after which we proceed to Sulgrave Manor and Garden, which is nearby.

Sulgrave is known as the ‘Original Home of the Special Relationship’. it was the home of George Washington’s English ancestors, who built the house. It is now in the care of a trust, chaired by Carole Souter, CBE. Two splendid topiary peacocks will welcome us to a guided tour of both the house and garden. The objective of the trustees has been to cultivate plants and flowers of botanical and historical interest. In the Tudor Villagers’ Garden will be seen historic vegetables and herbs. Heritage fruit trees grow in the orchard. The division of the garden into rooms was the work of Sir Reginald Blomfield, garden designer and architect, carried out in the early 1900s.

Our visit will end after tea and biscuits.

Thenford Walled Garden
Sulgrave Manor