For the first time since 2019, our outgoing president was able to organise an annual trip for the club. In 2019 we visited Saltaire in Yorkshire. This year, the Dorothy Clive Gardens near Market Drayton, Shropshire. Members of two other clubs in District 5 joined us and off we went.
Part of the gardens had once been a gravel pit which, over the decades, had become totally overgrown when Colonel Harry Clive began to turn the quarry into a woodland garden. His wife, Dorothy was involved in underplanting the woodland with smaller plants which now carpet the ground. This area is best visited in spring when the azaleas, rhododendrons, camellias and spring bulbs are at their best, not forgetting the laburnum walk, but the waterfall and magnificent stag sculpture are there to delight at any time of the year.
The other half of the gardens are made up of herbaceous borders and rose gardens which were beautiful at this time of the year. Every rose seemed to be scented especially along the rose walk where the perfume met you long before you arrived.
Sadly, Dorothy developed Parkinson’s disease and died in 1942, but the garden remained a source of delight during her last years.
We managed a leisurely lunch before a quick visit to Bridgemere Garden Centre on the way home where the luggage hold was filled with a variety of plants destined for members gardens. We travelled back through the green and pleasant countryside of Shropshire, Staffordshire and Cheshire to complete a wonderful day.