We have had a busy year, and can now relax and spend some time looking back over the past season. One of our main activities is visiting local gardens and this year 13 gardens were opened to the Group. Their owners had put in a lot of time and effort for these openings and this is very much appreciated by our members.

Our first coach outing was to the garden at Highgrove - stopping at the nearby Westonbirt Arboretum for lunch. At Highgrove we saw a fascinating garden full of interest with many unusual features; large swathes of colour, arresting vistas and some attractive sculptural effects such as the use of the upturned stumps of fallen trees displaying their roots and a plethora of pots given to the Prince on his travels abroad.

The annual lecture was on 'Hardy Perennials for all Seasons' and our other outing was to the lecturer's beautiful garden, 'White Windows' at Longparish in Hampshire where the plants included part of the National Collection of Hellebores. The other garden visited that day was 'Rook Hill 'at Monk Sherborne with its National Penstemons and our members had a busy and pleasant time buying plants to take home.

Two visits are planned for 2005. We will be visiting the garden at Sissinghurst and the house and garden at Great Dixter.

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