21 November 1997

Late again, naturally

WHY is it the nearer a place is to visit the later one arrives? The only excuse I had for this latest bout of bad manners was that I had travelled behind an antiquated horse box for about 10 miles.

Finally arriving at the tea rooms next to Sheffield Park I was relieved to recognise the Kent FWC members enjoying their lunch before our arranged walk around these beautiful National Trust gardens. The autumn colours were just beginning to show and the reflection of the trees in the lakes was stunning.

As we walked we noticed where replanting has taken place since the hurricane of 1987 and marvelled at the thoughtful planning of a pathway completely lined by gentians showing their blue hue just along from some pink lace capped hydrangeas.

At one point a familiar perfume wafted across the bank and Ann Neath, who had organised this visit, soon discovered the source – honeysuckle in full bloom climbing a shrub that was resplendent in its autumn colours.

Jean Howells