Gardening Group trip to Longstock Water Gardens

A full coach load of Gardening Group members set off at 8.45am to visit Longstock Water Gardens near Stockbridge in Hampshire.  The weather was glorious and after a trouble-free journey, we arrived at Longstock in good time.  The Water Gardens were the creation of John Lewis and are owned and managed by the John Lewis Partnership.  They are only opened to the public on Charity Sundays and to groups by appointment, so we felt privileged to have the gardens to ourselves which was wonderful.  The gardens were absolutely fabulous with the most beautiful plantings around several lakes which had been created from a diversion of the clear, chalk stream, the River Test.  Small bridges linked the lakes and crossed the stream creating interest and superb views at every turn.  Peace and tranquillity –  we could have stayed all day listening to the birds and watching the changing reflections on the water.  All too soon we had to leave and drove a short way to the Longstock Nurseries.  Here we had lunch at the pleasant restaurant and farm shop , and could walk around the extensively stocked nurseries.  Although by now it was very hot, sunny and humid, many of us visited the lovely herbaceous border and the national collections of Clematis and Buddleia.  After a minor scrape with a fence, the coach carried us safely back to Risborough at the end of a very enjoyable day.