Our day begins with a visit to Parsonage House, Helions Bumpstead, as guests of Annie and Nigel Turner whose listed Tudor house is surrounded by garden. Traditional in design, it has a central lawn with ancient yew topiary and borders filled with interesting and unusual plants. Many have been raised here in the greenhouse, including pelargoniums and tender plants. A path leads to a tennis court, surrounded by pleached crab apple trees and there is a 2 1/2 acre wildflower meadow. Other features include a gravel garden and a small vegetable garden, whilst across the lane is an orchard of over 100 apple trees of mainly East Anglian apples.
From here, we will travel a short distance to Floriston Hall, Wixoe, where we will enjoy a seasonal two-course lunch with wine as guests of Dominic and Amanda Vail. Floriston Hall, dating back to the 18th century, is approached by a magnificent avenue of lime trees and has undergone extensive renovation since 1997, working with architect Charles Morris on the house and designer Denny Swete on the garden, helped by gardeners Anthony and Clive. New borders have been created, while an Italian-style courtyard with box hedges and olive trees makes an interesting outdoor living room. The original flint walled garden is now home to a vegetable garden, old apple trees, a white garden and a long border by the pool, filled with dahlias, roses and vibrant planting. The original long herbaceous border, backed with climbing roses, has been completely re-planted.
We will start from Audley End station and transport between gardens is provided.
The day includes morning coffee, a delicious two-course lunch with wine and afternoon tea.
Photo credit: Photographs courtesy of Denny Swete ©