Members among the snowdrops at Camerton Court, early 2017 (photo: Anne Hills)

The Trust holds regular visits and meetings to inform our members. Guests are always welcome to attend and join us in visits to some parks and gardens not normally open to the public.

Booking is required for these visits so we can cater for the numbers attending. Please use the booking forms linked from each event and you will receive further details and confirmation of your place.

Advanced booking for future AGT events is advised, but late booking can always be accepted if space on the event allows.

E-mail our Events Coordinator, Peter Hills for more information about Avon Gardens Trust Events

Events for 2017

Saturday 21 October, 2pm

Autumn Colours at South Kelding

South Kelding in Upton Cheyney is a young 7 acre garden set on a hillside with stunning panoramic views from its upper levels. There are herbaceous and shrub beds, prairie-style scree beds, orchard, native copses and a small arboretum grouped by continents. Beyond the arboretum lie a large wildlife pond and a boundary stream which runs through woodland featuring shade and moisture-loving plants.

On moving to Upton Cheyney in 2004 Barry and Wendy Smale became the proud owners of 3 fields and a house, soon to be demolished and replaced with a modern, more efficient and sustainable home. During the build some of the native tree copses were planted and the arboretum started. Flower beds were added around the new house and a long curving shrub bed planted to screen the (then rather ugly) machinery shed and storage yard beyond. Our orchard was planted next, one bitterly cold December day with snow lying on the ground! We then extended the copses in the central area of the garden, introducing dogwoods, white-stemmed birches and ginkgos for autumn and winter interest and a circle of Sorbus torminalis underplanted with blue camassias for late spring. In the lower field trees were continually added to the arboretum which, despite the best efforts of grazing sheep and escapee cows, is now flourishing. The occasional ‘must-have’ addition still appears so that this area has something of interest throughout the year, be it bark, blossom, flowers or leaf texture and shape.

Beyond the arboretum lies a large wildlife pond whose banks are covered in primroses in Spring, with yellow flag iris and white waterlilies to follow. Our boundary stream runs beside the pond and into the small woodland area, whose development has been a more recent project. What started out as an exploration of an apparent leak from the pond led to the wholesale clearance of brambles, nettles and self-sown trees, resulting in a second, smaller pond surrounded by candelabra primulas, astilbes, rodgersias and other moisture-loving plants, many different ferns, winter hellebores, aquilegias, foxgloves and a dell of ornamental shrubs. Moving on through the wood are a selection of shade-tolerant shrubs such as hydrangeas, sarcococca, hollies, elders and sorbarias. In late winter the whole area is covered in snowdrops.

Back up at the top of the hill another recent venture has been the addition of a rill-style reflective pool outside the main living room of the house, and a series of scree beds along the upper slopes featuring ornamental grasses, echinaceas, sedums, geraniums, euphorbias, asphodels, bergenias, nepeta and achilleas.

Autumn colour features in the red and yellow-stemmed dogwoods, spindle copses, acers, rowans and liquidambers, with the white, pink and coppery textured bark of different birch tree species providing an attractive contrast to the changing leaf colours. Up by the house the bergenias, echinaceas and sedums in the scree beds offset the waving flowerheads and stems of Miscanthus and Stipa grasses.

Cost of the tour including refreshments is £8 for members, £10 for guests.

Please book using the form here by 16 October

South Kelding at the NGS website here

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