Garden Of The Week 2017-2018 Series 12
Proudly Presents

Kate Patrick
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
 flag USA

"Magical Garden Tour 2017"

spacerWhen I was growing up as an immigrant in America, my British mother always had something to say about the "old country". The sky was bluer, the grass greener, apples redder and strawberries sweeter in England. Anything British was inevitably better to that daughter of the British Empire. It is no wonder then that as an adult I always dreamed of traveling to this magical country to see these marvelous things with my own eyes.

spacerThis past summer I finally had the opportunity to take the trip. I was celebrating a belated 65th birthday and fulfilling a promise I had made to myself and my mother that I would one day tread the shores of that "scepter'd isle". My mother was no longer here to journey with me but I was very much aware of the heritage she had left me while I was traveling around the countryside of my native counties.

spacerMy main goal was to see the fabulous English gardens, about which I had only read and seen photographs. I mapped out a tour of the southern part of the country including Kent, Sussex, Devon and Cornwall. I included a jaunt out west to Essex and then to Hertfordshire to visit the town of St.Albans in which I was born and where I met cousins I had never seen before. I stayed with some other cousins whom I had met before when they visited the States. They were kind enough to allow me to base myself out of their home in a London suburb. I rented a car at the airport and foolishly launched myself onto the highways, driving on the "wrong" side of the road and hurtling around the roundabouts at breakneck speed. To say it was terrifying was an understatement but I was determined to reach my destinations.

 Kate Patrick

spacerThe first part of the trip included Sissinghurst Castle Gardens and Great Dixter Gardens in the southeast. I was overwhelmed with the history that surrounded these places and awed to be walking the garden paths I had dreamed about. I visited three of the Royal Horticultural Society's botanic gardens: Wisley, Rosemoor and Hyde Hall. They were all huge and contained an enormous variety of plantings from dry gravel gardens to rose gardens. There were glass houses full of exotics, miles of tall hedges and enormous trees planted in Victorian times. I journeyed down to the southern coast to Trebah Gardens in Cornwall, and Coleton Fishacre Gardens in Devon. The views of the ocean and the cliffs along the shoreline in those gardens was amazing. The plantings were sub-tropical as the climate is so mild in those areas. I also visited Kew Gardens and attended the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show.

spacerI took hundreds of photographs, met some wonderful people, ate a load of scones and drank gallons of tea. I also walked miles in those beautiful gardens, enjoying myself as I never had before. For me it was not just the lovely places I was able to see but the sense of connectedness I experienced with the country and the people. It was a true home-coming.

spacerI am now privileged to share my magical adventure on Charlotte's Garden of the Week. I hope you find it as inspiring as I did although these are not daylily gardens as such. Thank you for coming along on the garden tour with me.

Kate Patrick, Murfreesboro, TN

please click on top left photo to start the viewing

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