We met twice in July and took advantage of the beautiful weather to visit two local gardens by prior arrangement, with a view to learning from what we saw there. The first, in Windsor Road, Southport, like the garden in Saxon Road we had visited the previous month, opens under the NGS scheme for charity. It was a cottage garden full of beautiful plants in wide borders and utilised lots of good ideas. These included: a living shed roof full of succulents, removing uneven flags and filling the spaces with low plants or herbs rather than reflagging the area and using an old mangle as a stand from which to hang lots of plants. We were made very welcome with brunch including strawberry scones. A good time was had by all with many buying cuttings and various items on sale for charity
The following week we visited Margaret and Bill Ashton’s beautiful garden in Blundellsands. The garden, with two large lawned areas over two levels, wide borders, a water feature and greenhouses, was full of colour with flowers in full bloom in addition to perfect greenhouse tomatoes. Bill and Margaret clearly have their work cut out but the garden was perfectly maintained. We were again made extremely welcome with home baked cakes and refreshments. All enjoyed the visit massively and left with much inspiration, advice from Bill, cuttings and full stomachs.