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Thursday, 12 June 2008

Garden Visit to Sezincote

For the Club's garden visit to Sezincote House & Gardens in Gloucester, it was a day of firsts. We set out to travel along the M5 to a new coffee stop at Blooms near Junction 12. Members gathered in a pleasant and airy tea shop and looked around at the lovely plants and gifts on display. Fully refreshed we travelled through some pretty Cotswolds villages before reaching the entrance to the Sezincote estate.

The lane leading to the house was very narrow and our driver, Paul, slowly made his way through the tree lined lane and over cattle grids for the Club's first visit to Sezincote.

The house was built in an Indian setting (the house was the inspiration for the Brighton Pavilion). We split into two groups to have a guided tour of the house and learn the history of the buildings and families who lived there.

The main features of the garden are the stream which emerges from below a temple to Surya and descends via a series of pools and fountains to a lake. The 'Indian' Garden perfectly complements the house, the garden was restored in the 1950's by Lady Kleinwort and Graham Stuart Thomas. The borders are planted with massed hostas, campanula and other water-loving plants, surrounded by trees of unusual size, including cedars, copper beeches and limes. There is a curved orangery which protects tender climbing plants and an Indian Bridge, complete with Brahmin bulls, overlooking a Snake Fountain.

Following the garden visit we had a short journey to the village of Little Compton where the ladies (and gentleman) of the local WI made us welcome for afternoon tea. Another narrow approach for the coach, meant that Paul earnt his cream tea!

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