Garden Shows are happening all over the country, and we have visited West Woodhay, in Berkshire, this weekend.
This show is hosted in the grounds of a lovely house, built in the 17th Century, and is a mixture of show garden ground plant and country charity fair. The proceeds of this very well attended event are given to local charities and church funds.
On a sunny Saturday, 4th June, there was a really strong community feel: this is an important event in the local social calendar as much as RHS Chelsea is in our national psyche.
The house and gardens were as beautiful as those seen in National Trust properties: in 1947 the house was taken back to the original footprint and style of its architect, a collaborator of Inigo Jones, and retains a really graceful country house look.
The planting around the home is consistent with tradition, and below are some details of the D shaped bed at the front entrance. Further afield, a series of distinct garden "rooms", the most notable being the walled garden, provide great visual experiences of the associations between roses, shrubs, kitchen garden plants and arboretum-type woodlands.
And so to the show gardens: three in all, they were all on the theme of improving habitats for insects; this is a topical issue, as the National Trust is publicising the plight of the Uk bee population, halved in the last 20 years.
The varied gardens provide a platform for local designers and landscapers, with a school for deaf children providing inspiration and artworks for the one featured below.