Breezy Knees Garden, York
If you were at the May meeting where Don Witton gave his excellent and amusing presentation on ‘Once Seen Never Forgotten’, you too may have been interested in hearing about Breezy Knees Garden near York.
We happened to be spending a few days in Flamborough, Yorkshire the following week and by altering our route home only slightly maaged to fit in a visit to this fascinating garden.
Quirky is the word which comes immediatley to mind, interesting and unusual also fit the bill. We spent several hours there and it was nowhere near enough, we had to rush to get our delicious cream tea in before closing time. (The café, visited several times during our time there) was excellent and unlike so many places stayed open almost until the gardens closed. There was a superb nursery too, for once selling many of the plants we saw around the gardens instead of the same as every Garden Centre in the country and prices weren’t too expensive either!
It was quite a long walk along ‘The Rabbit Path’ to the garden proper and they do try to keep the rabbits out! A splendid gate allowed you in to start on a circuit of the garden rooms, which seemed to get bigger and bigger as we went on. They had some lovely names such as Stonehedge, a version of Stonehenge made up of pillars of clipped beech, and plenty big enough to lose yourself in. A June Garden a May Garden, a September Garden, Rock Garden, Pond and Shade Garden, Cottage Garden and many more, 20 in all. There was a garden with fountains in which started up every 4 minutes and performed for 2 minutes with different patterns and comfortable seats to sit and watch from too.
There was a 15 foot sculpture of a pair of wellington boots in one garden and a matching 15 foot trowel in another. Lots of metal sculptures and other interesting features all around.
One place I was determined to see before we left was ‘The Rogues Gallery’, I could not imagine for the life of me what would be in there. It turned out to be an area planted up with all those thugs of plants you planted because they looked so nice but then wished you hadn’t because they take over your garden, we have quite a few of those ourselves! Their sign read’ Rogues Gallery, so called because all the plants here, whilst attractive, are very invasive and if planted in normal borders would soon swampeverything around them. However, hopefully here they will meet their match – their neighbours may be even bigger thugs than they are!’ Love it! We must go back and see who wins.
The garden was started on arable farmland in 1999 and was planted first with a framework of trees, hedges and shrubathamanta turbiths and then as those began to provide some shelter work began on the borders and garden rooms and is still ongoing. It is called Breezy Knees because it is very exposed “and if you stood there in January, you wouldn’t ask why it was called that!” It is only open from May through to September for that reason. It is one of only a handful of British gardens with a current 5 star Trip Advisor rating and is situated on the eastern outskirts of York, some 5 miles from the city centre.
Thank you Don, for enthusing about it in your talk, and introducing it to us, a place well worth a visit by anyone. But leave plenty of time!!
Sue and Trevor Wray
Weston Favell Open Gardens
Sunday 2nd July 1.00-5.00 pm
View PDF details
Ten gardens will be open within the village, in
Church Way, Weston Way, Greenway, Mead Way, and Ridgeway,
the Allotments on Graspin Lane and Church (open 2-4 pm)
Entry £5 pp (cash only please)
accompanied children under 16 free
includes access to Ten Open Gardens
Weston Favell Allotments and Bonsai Display
All profits in aid of Home-Start
A charity supporting families with young children
A local community network of trained volunteers and expert support helping families with young children through their challenging times. There for parents when they need them the most, because childhood can’t wait.
Refreshments, Tombola, and Bonsai Display in the Church Hall
A local charity, supporting hedgehogs, will be in the church hall
There will be plants to buy in some gardens, cash only.
Programmes for entry available from St Peter’s Church Hall, High Street, Weston Favell, NN3 3JX
on the day
Here are the proposed outings for 2023
Please book at the meetings or by contacting Janet for tickets.
More details will be added as the trips are fully arranged.
Visit to: Evenley Woods Snowdrop Walk
Date: Wednesday 15th February
Evenley Woods, Brackley,
This is an easy drive along the A43, past Brackley to Evenley where the woods are signposted down a long non paved drive.
Park in the field and make your way to the tented café for 11.00am, about 10 mins from car to café.
We will share coffee/tea and cake together and then you can make your own way round the woodland walks, all clearly marked with coloured posts to follow.
Book now £12.50 made up of £7.50 for entry and £5 for refreshments.
A lovely sunny day and the outing was much enjoyed. Beautiful swathes of snowdrops including lots of named varieties was not all there was to be seen. There were loads of crocus, cyclamen and hellebores and even a few early narcissus to be seen too.
Visit to: RHS Wisley
Date: Saturday 29th April
This is our annual free visit to Wisley, just the coach to pay for, but in the Spring for a change.
WFGS Members £20
Non WFGS Members £22
Leaving from the Rectory Church Way at 9.00 am
ETA Home 6.00 pm
Visit to: Waterperry Gardens and Oxford Botanical Garden
Date: Saturday 10th June
Waterperry is only a few miles from Oxford so only a short drive further on to Oxford Botanical Garden.
WFGS Members £32
Non WFGS Members £34
to include cost of coach, entry to Waterperry Gardens and Oxford Botanical Garden
Leaving from The Rectory, Church Way at 9.30 am
ETA Home 5.30 pm
2nd July Weston Favell Open Gardens
August Evening visit to local garden
November Winter Lights
We are lucky this year to have booked two well known speakers for the Garden Society this year, Tony Russell on ‘2000 years of British Garden History’ in February and Tom Hart Dyke with a talk entitled ‘Plant Hunter and Gardener with Passion’ in November.
Here are some details about these two speakers which might interest you.
Tony Russell is a BBC writer and broadcaster and former Head Forester of Westonbirt Arboretum and editor of the annual publication ‘Gardens to Visit’. He gives many entertaining talks and lectures to Garden Societies, Horticultural Societies and other clubs around the country. Many of them are about the various gardens he has visited in the UK.
I have been fortunate enough to hear him speak twice, unfortunately the same talk, but I enjoyed it as much the second time around as the first and very much look forward to hearing him again as he is a very entertaining speaker.
Tom Guy Hart Dyke is a renowned plant expert, plant hunter and TV personality. He
Is also patron of the British Cactus and Succulent Society and has been a great supporter and advocate of the Society.
Tom first shot to fame in 2000, when he was unfortunately kidnapped for nine months in the Colombian Jungle on a plant hunting expedition that went dangerously wrong. After Tom’s return to his ancestral home of Lullingstone Castle in Kent, he and Paul Winder wrote the best-selling book ‘The Cloud Garden’ detailing their experiences in the jungle. Tom’s jungle antics - building gardens in the mountains, much to the annoyance of his captors – cemented his reputation as a ‘plant nut’.
Since his release from captivity, Tom has been busy building the ‘World’ in his back garden at Lullingstone Castle, commandeering his granny’s 18th Century Walled Garden. The idea of the World Garden was born out of a time of despair while in captivity. His dream garden contains the plants he has collected from across the globe, planted out in their respective countries of origin.
In this fascinating talk Tom will discuss his interests and great passions with stories from an exciting (perhaps too exciting at times?). This promises to be a very entertaining evening and we are lucky to have speak to us.
The Village Show was a great success, with lots of entries in the fruit and vegetable classes, a surprisingly large amount from Weston Favell Allotments in the end, after allotment holders spending weeks telling me they had nothing growing because of the extraordinary hot, dry weather!!
We had lots more entries than usual for the Children's classes which everybody so enjoys seeing but a disappointing three entries only over all three of the adult flower arranging classes, though again the children did us proud with lots from them, thank you children.
Both Handicrafts and Baking and Preserves were rather low on entries too, but lots of beautiful flowers and plants in their classes, though everyone struggled to find many roses and dahlias.
Barbara Bream has written the article below about her impressions on the day.