Well July has been hot, hot, hot (with a few amazing thunderstorms thrown in). I’ve had a friend from New Zealand stay for a few days. Over the years she has got to know Faversham well, so I wanted to take her somewhere we hadn’t been before.
You might remember that I have been teaching at the “pop up” Westwell Flower School since the beginning of the year. It’s a lovely drive out from Faversham and every Wednesday morning I’d drive through Challock and see the signs for Beech Court Gardens. The perfect destination, to be followed by lunch at The Wheel Inn at Westwell.
We turned left off the A252 immediately after the village green. Up and round the private drive. A notice advised that due to sudden staff illness the café was closed and in recompense we were invited to tour the gardens for free. What an invitation!
Despite the heat of the day the grass was still damp in places and we alternated between sunhat and glasses; soggy feet and cardigans. We meandered round the grounds enjoying glimpses out to the countryside beyond. A herd a creamy cattle walked by. Views from the gates at the garden’s boundaries seemingly promised more delights of access to the wider countryside. However, the stars of the show were the hydrangeas.
Huge planted beds in blues and pinks I couldn’t decide which was my favourite.
If you haven’t been before I’d recommend a visit. Although don’t go on a Friday, as I did last week when family came to visit, as the gardens are closed on a Friday. Better luck next time …
Hyrdangeas are great for flower arranging. Use them as a natural “frog” and feed other stems through their heads – if I’ve confused you there, do leave me a comment in the box below. If you find them drooping in your vase I’d advise submerging the flower head in water for a few seconds and then re-cutting the stems at an angle to allow them to re-hydrate.
We had a fantastic lunch at The Wheel. I went for two starters: gazpacho and a beetroot hummus, with flat bread. Why not call by next time you’re in the area and say hello to Harry, the landlord? I’ll be back in Westwell on Saturday 13 September for a special flowers and afternoon tea event – I’d love to see you there.
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