Our annual August coach trips have become a bit of a tradition and are popular with members. We first travelled to Batsford Arboretum and Garden Centre, which covers 56 acres and has many paths and trails to explore.
The weather was ideal, not too hot, so we were able to make the most of our time there. Earlier in the year when the committee booked this visit we could not have predicted that a special tree would be in flower for us to see. A 25 year old specimen of Emmenopterys henryi , a rare tree originating from China has flowered for the first time at the Arboretum and this is only the sixth time ever in the UK for this species. The tree needs a cold winter and a hot summer in order to flower and this year we to have had those conditions.
There were lots of people taking photographs of this beautiful tree which produces its scented flowers high up at the top of the canopy. Apart from the fantastic range of trees at the Arboretum there were many other features to see in the grounds. There was an excellent café and of course plants for sale as well as other items.
After lunch we travelled to Bourton House Garden. This is a beautiful 3 acre garden that has been open to the public since the 1980s. It has some amazing herbaceous borders, many unusual plants, topiary and a number of interesting water features. The white garden was very effective and there were lots of ideas for our own gardens. It was a beautifully kept garden with a stunning ‘borrowed view’ of the Cotswold landscape. We finished our visit with tea and lovely selection of cakes in the impressive tithe barn which houses the tearoom and the gift shop.