In February Sue and Trevor made a visit to Michael Heseltine's garden, Thenford Arboretum, to see the snowdrops. As this is the place we intend to visit with the Garden Society on an outing in June, I have added some more photos of the garden as well as the snowdrops, to show you all what it is like. Even in February it was a lovely place to visit with heaps to see. I have added the map of the gardens to show you the extent of the gardens.

See in Members Photos

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








Village Show 2024

Saturday 31st August

It’s that time of year again, time to start thinking about what you could enter in the Village Show!

Whatever your talents, there is something for you to enter, whatever your age, whatever your skill, from growing fruit and vegetables, flowers (or just picking them), cooking, (baking or preserving), to crafts and photography, for children and adults alike.

The people of the Village love to see what everyone can do and enjoy a sociable afternoon looking at the items on show, sharing a cup of tea and a slice of delicious, home made cake, winning a prize on the Tombola and even picking up a few home grown or home baked bargains in the auction at the end.

We even usually manage to raise some money for charity during the event, with profits going this year to Northampton Search and Rescue and C2C Social Action, two local charities providing help when it is needed. Representatives will hopefully be attending one of the Residents Association coffee mornings at the Bold Dragoon to tell you all about them.

To start thinking about entering you will need to know what classes there are for this year, so please look at the 2024 schedule here. The entry forms can be found there too but you won’t need them until a week or so before the Show.

WFGS Outings for 2024





Bluebells at Coton Manor Thursday April 25th at 2.00pm

On Thursday 25th April we have booked a self drive visit to the glorious bluebell woods at Coton Manor, where you will not only get the chance to immerse yourselves in the sea of bluebells but to look round the rest of the garden and enjoy some of their luxurious cakes as well.


Hill Close Gardens near Warwick

(Saturday 15th June, with Michael Heseltine's garden in Thenford)

Rare survivals of Victorian gardens once used by townsfolk living above their business to escape from the crowded town, now lovingly restored and nationally recognised. Discover how owners came here after work or on Sundays to tend their plots or to relax…

The restored gardens at Hill Close, Warwick, offer an extremely rare opportunity to visit sixteen hedged Victorian pleasure gardens, which capture the planting and personalities of their original owners.

The plots are very varied and individual, as would have been the case more than a hundred years ago. Generally there is a mixture of flowers, fruit – such as apples, pears, plums and soft fruit – a grassed area and a range of vegetables, mostly heritage varieties seldom seen nowadays. Artists experiment with different materials to represent the Victorian era in another plot.

The Victorian-styled glasshouse is used to raise plants for the garden and for selling in the nursery. In the summer there is a display of exotic plants such as Hedychiums, Eucomis and Pelargoniums. Hill Close Gardens has an extremely wide range of horticulture with many rare and ‘at risk’ plants, particularly in Plot 17 and the glasshouse. Every year, many different cultivars are offered or received under the Plant Heritage plant exchange scheme for ‘at risk’ plants.

Our Visitor Centre which is environmentally friendly in design and structure, has recently been extended to give visitors their own dedicated space with all the information they need to enjoy their visit. The Tea Room has a more extensive range of refreshments, including locally sourced cakes, and cream teas. To take home a memento of the visit, there is the opportunity to buy garden-themed merchandise as well as plants, seasonal produce and fruit grown in the Plant Nursery.



 Michael Heseltine's Garden (Thenford near Banbury)

                                              (Saturday  15th June, with Hill Close Gardens)

Michael Heseltine’s Garden is in Thenford , near Banbury.

We visited it in 2017 and everybody agreed it was a wonderful garden.

A visit to Thenford is a must for all gardening enthusiasts. The Arboretum is spread over seventy acres, and features a collection of more than three thousand different trees and shrubs, together with extensive herbaceous borders, water gardens, an alpine trough garden, a sculpture garden, a rose garden and a rill. Thenford has something for every gardening enthusiast.

We intend to visit Hill Close Gardens near Warwick in the morning.  We will be given a guided tour and plenty of free time to look round on our own. Tea/coffee and cake is included in the ticket.

We will then travel on to Thenford near Banbury for Michael Heseltine’s Open Garden Day starting at 2.00pm.

You will need a packed lunch to eat in Hill Close Garden or on the coach in between Warwick and Banbury, about 1/2 hour.

On Arrival at Thenford you will be given a map showing the layout of the garden and arboretum.

There will be tea, coffee and cakes available during the afternoon in the Church Barn, at extra cost.

Wisley in Autumn 

(October 19th)


To end our visits for the year we plan  to take our free (just coach to pay for) RHS visit to Wisley once more,  enjoying the glorious Autumn colours in October and all the things that the gardens there now have to offer, which seem to change rapidly each year, there is always something new to be seen.

 Christmas Lights Trail


We plan to revisit a tried and trusted venue this year. Details to follow later in the year.






Weston Favell Open Gardens

‘Hidden Gems’

and Allotments

Sunday 2nd July 1.00-5.00 pm


Another successful Open Gardens is under our belts. We were so lucky with the weather, warm and dry, not too hot and not too cold just a bit windy at times but then nothing is ever perfect, though the gardens were just about perfect. 


We had nine gardens open in the end, as one had to withdraw at the last moment, and what a huge variety there was, large and small, manicured and wild, unusual plants, colourful plants, fabulous views across the valley, unusual water features and statues and all sorts of ponds. We had over 400 people and many children visiting and all said how much they enjoyed the different gardens. What is more all the gardener hosts enjoyed the afternoon too, it is very rewarding to share one's garden and hard work with so many appreciative people. Several have asked to join in again in the future.


As usual we had delicious home baked cakes to complement our refreshments, and the fascinating bonsai display to look round in the church hall, along with the hedgehog stall and a huge tombola to enjoy. Again our lovely church was open for people to see the flowers, listen to our talented organist playing and rest awhile from all the walking.


The allotments appreciated having many visitors too who were able to look round, buy some plants and see the new centenary plaque unveiled by Bob, the longest held plot holder we know of to date. (He also won prizes in many categories at the Village Show last year and entered almost every single class for fruit and vegetables, experience shows!)


We had such a successful day that we raised £2600 for Home-Start a charity supporting families with young children.


Thank you to all our members who so generously donated home made cakes, lovely tombola prizes and who visited on the day.


You can view the pictures in our Gallery


Sue Wray