Outing 17th July 2016

We visited The Beacon in Stocksfield via a short but beautiful scenic route and found our hosts garden situated on a steep slope, planted densely with a brightly coloured mix of roses, topiary, everyday perennials, trees and shrubs and with a pond and waterfalls adding to the charm. Some steep climbs tested our doughty members but we all explored the nooks and crannies and enjoyed refreshments and a breather. This garden shows what can be done with steep terrain, ordinary plants and imagination to create effect

The next stop was Halls of Heddon, a short drive away, where we were shown round the propagation areas from where they send dahlias out each year around the world. After we ate our picnic lunches we tackled the serious business of buying plants. We are like the proverbial kids in a sweet shop when it comes to nurseries and Halls had a wonderful variety of plants, trees and shrubs and we all came away with some treasures.

Our last stop, again a short distance, was to Coldcotes Moor Farm where the owner gave us short talk and we then explored the extensive gardens and grounds. There is a woodland area in the making and newly planted herbaceous borders with a lake in a setting of 15 acres. More formal gardens surround the house and different designs for each area create interest. After more tea and cake and a breather we arrived back at the College after a thoroughly enjoyable day out.

COMMENTS by Eileen Donovan

Last Sunday’s trip was very enjoyable, both gardens were interesting (especially the latter one) and Halls of Heddon was very worthwhile.  I found the staff to be extremely helpful and the range of plants impressive.  I also liked the fact that even though we packed three visits into one day, we were still back earlier than usual.  So well done to you for organising a very enjoyable day and as far as I’m concerned, five stars out of five.  The weather was a bonus.