Good day at Warley Place in Great Warley with my sisters today. The gardens were the work of pioneering feminist gardener Ellen Willmott in the early 1900s. She once employed 100 gardeners and was the first woman to be elected to the Horticultural Society. The ruins and foliage looked glorious in the sunshine with hundreds of foxgloves out, clumps of bamboo, palm trees and exotic plants everywhere.
An omelette and pint of Thatchers bitter in the nearby Thatchers Arms was followed by a tour of the restored gardens. Many features have been unearthed since my last visit including new rockeries and lots of plant labels on display in the information hut. Also interesting to learn that there's a play about Miss Willmott, Ellen's Love, being performed at Little Warley Cricket field on September 3-5. Well worth a visit to see Alpine ravines, boathouses and the remains of opulent terraces and a once grand conservatory.