Thornton Hall trip report

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ADDINGHAM ALLOTMENTS & GARDENS ASSOCIATION

 

Our Summer outing this year was toThornton Hall Gardens at Staindrop near Darlington. Not very well-known in this part of the world they were begun about 20 years ago by Sue Manners who, knowing nothing about gardening, decided to attempt to turn two paddocks at the side of the family farm into something more attractive.

She had no gardening knowledge but with the help of a few books and a lot of enthusiasm she started by digging up all the turf by hand and gradually creating a couple of borders. As she became more ambitious and her knowledge of gardening and plants evolved, she extended the borders and widened them enormously and created island beds too, ponds and water features were built, rocks were brought in, follies and alpine beds constructed and eventually she arrived at the garden as it is today, and still evolving.

What we saw was the product of all her hard work, the most glorious garden imaginable filled with every kind of herbaceous plant, trees, shrubs, roses, climbers, hostas and much more. It is utterly magnificent

Sue created the garden for herself and her family but a few years ago she was persuaded to open it to the public on selected days during the summer and it’s now possible for garden lovers from all over the north of England to see it in all it’s glory.

We ate delicious food at the pop up cafe and nearly filled the coach with the plants we bought, which are all grown at the garden. Proceeds from her openings go to charity and I would urge anyone who hasn’t been there to look at the website, pick a date, and visit it as soon as you can. It’s been called ‘One of Britain’s finest new gardens’ and even Prince Charles has paid her a visit !

Our Annual Show takes place on Saturday 12th August and there are classes for everyone, vegetables, flowers, fruit, baking, handicrafts, and more, so why not give it a go this year. Show schedules will be available from Addingham Post Office nearer the time and details will be on the website.

We have a super selection of speakers at our Autumn 2017/Spring 2018 meetings including Chelsea Gold Medal winner, Tracy Foster, designer of the ‘Welcome to Yorkshire’ garden, Meg Morton from iconic York Gate Garden at Adel, and Phil Gomersall, President of the National Allotments Society, so why not come along to one of our meetings. For more details look on our website.

 

 

 

 

 

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