The unexpected highlight of the weekend probably came during our medium-length walk that started and finished at Minstead. (And it wasn't the ancient little church there with its rather unusual double balcony arrangement - one for the little band of musicians, and one for the servants from the big houses around.) It was visiting Furzey. We'd looked around the art gallery next to the Tea Shoppe and we were all very tempted by the mounted photography of Mark Baeur - some examples linked below.

We had enough time left so we shelled out (quite a lot) for garden tickets, and I was hugely impressed. 30 acres or so of well maintained, but still fairly wild-feeling, spaces dominated by very colourful azaleas and rhododendrons and other flowering trees and hedges, interspersed with a variety of thatched things and tree houses. We'd all forgotten to take a camera, but here are samples from its own website ...


And here's a sample of the photos taken by eunique1234 on flickr at almost the same time last year. A fair bit of the work is undertaken by adults with learning difficulties who live near by at the Minstead Training Project. There's also a Retreat House in the Gardens, and it would be a wonderful place to stay from May onwards, and I imagine into autumn with fall colours on some of the trees.

AuthorJonathan Clark