The second visit of the year for members of Headley Horticultural Society was hastily rearranged by Events Secretary Fred Bell. Having found that the original destination had increased their prices and that there was no restaurant available he decided that another venue was required and members were delighted that they were able to pay a return visit to Merriments Gardens, going on to Great Dixter later in the day.

Set in the countryside of East Sussex, Merriments is a lovely garden full of mixed borders, formal areas and a large pond. Full of unusual plants, many of which could be purchased at the adjacent garden centre (and of course some duly found their way into the hold of the coach ready for the return journey). The centre's cafe also served delicious home-cooked meals and, as the day had turned a little cold, many members enjoyed a lunch and a warm drink before boarding the coach for the short trip to Great Dixter.

Again many had visited here previously but it was interesting to see how the garden had evolved. The two lawns flanking the entrance paths are given over to meadow planting and were full of yellow rattle and pale purple orchids. Other areas of the garden have also been planted in this way and are appreciated for the way they attract insects and other wildlife. Great Dixter is well known for its arrangements of pots which are changed to suit the season and there were many unusual summer annuals planted in them which gave a lovely splash of colour. Throughout many of the borders there were some very striking poppies, bright red with black spots and these really caught the eye as did a very pretty perennial sweet pea and in the exotic garden, some enormous bananas and palms. Again many of the plants in the garden were available to buy from the garden's nursery and, after a last cup of tea and piece of cake, a good many were placed in the boot of the coach.

Thanks again to Fred for organising the day.

The Summer Programme continues with the Summer Show, a further outing to Waterperry and an evening visiting a member's garden finishing with the Autumn Show on September 8th after which the evening lectures will commence from the 20th of September.

Updated 2 July, 2018