PGG AGM 2019 – Mill Barn, Weston Turville
October 6 : 10:00 am – 12:30 pm£10.00
Book Online Or send payment by cheque made payable to ‘The Professional Gardeners’ Guild’ to Tony Arnold, 119 Campkin Road, Cambridge CB4 2NP. For more information contact Tony Arnold – Tel: 01223 571952 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
PGG AGM 2019 – PGG visit to Mill Barn, Weston Turville
Thirty five years ago, we bought Mill Barn. It was a brand new conversion of a Grade ll eighteenth century barn sitting on a two acre plot, half farmyard and paddock, with the other half a former orchard where most of the trees had been blown down. We had four children so for the first years the plot was used as a football pitch and playground. We started with no overall design and initially planted trees in the half nearest the house and started adding shrubs. We devoured the Notcutts’ and Hiliers’ catalogues. Over time the shrubs became large enough to join to the trees and make definable borders. Our next task was to overhaul an old moat, in truth a nettle-filled ditch full of redundant farm machinery and corrugated iron. We cleaned and enlarged it and eventually forewent our summer holiday to line it with butyl, to form a respectable pond. It now has resident moorhens and ducks and is a great place to sit and catch your breath.
The construction of a tennis court in the old orchard providing the straight lines for the planting of a yew hedge to surround it, and a knot garden comprising some fifteen hundred box and a pleached hedge of lime trees. Adjacent to this we created two garden rooms enclosed by a hornbeam hedge to create a walled-garden effect. Greenhouses now followed as I had started running a hanging basket refill service. This was before hanging baskets became available in garden centres!
Then we visited Wisley and discovered rope supported roses, so we copied these to hide the green houses. On another garden visit to Rosemary Verey’s, we were enthralled by the laburnum arch, and one is now well established here. Alongside the rectangular ‘walled’ colour gardens we discovered a spring, which bubbled up in February. This led to us digging a small artificial stream adding a bridge and making an informal narrow woodland area bordering our neighbour’s garden.
Having arrived at a shape and some maturity we decided it was time to tackle the grass, which was connecting it all. What became our ‘show lawn’ in front of the house required substantial groundwork. The old farmyard was still underneath it and this was comprised of rag, a mixture of chalk and flint, designed to provide dry hard standing for the cows. Just to help matters, it was stuck together with clay. The whole area was dug out to a depth of half a metre, herringbone drainage installed and a mixture of loam and sand laid with the entire surface levelled right to left. Elsewhere, the property now extends to just twenty acres. About three miles of traditional Bucks hedging (nine varieties) have been planted and eventually layered. Around a thousand trees have been added. There is a vegetable garden with accessible beds. We have a third greenhouse next to our barns and this houses our collection of tender plants, which are brought outside at the beginning of June for four/five months.
10.00am – Meet at Mill Barn
10.30am – Tour of garden by Rosie Ernst
12.00pm – Refreshments
12.30pm – Depart
Mill Barn, Mill Lane, Weston Turville, Aylesbury
Postcode: HP22 5RG
Cost for the day: £10.00. Please book no later than 06.09.2019.