Thursday 14 July

The final visit was to the Bishop’s Garden, near our hotel, which covers 4 acres right in the centre of the city adjacent to the cathedral. We were shown around by the head gardener Simon Gaches. There has been a garden on the site for over 900 years: Simon has been there for 20. Inevitably there have been lots of changes. The oldest plants in the garden are some of the trees dating from the 1850s including a tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera).

The current garden is divided into two distinct areas: an upper area used for charitable events such as fetes and the lower formal gardens.
The formal garden in turn is divided into a two distinct areas, separated by a broad lawn walkway with wide herbaceous borders on both sides. To the right are the rose parterre, the hosta border and a wild meadow and flower labyrinth. To the left of the walkway are the vegetable garden and greenhouses plus a new jungle walk with bananas and other exotics including Tetrapanax papyrifera, Digitalis canariensis, Wollemia nobilis, Dregea sinensis and Impatiens tinctoria. Even in this area though there are shrubs and herbaceous plants making it a pleasant place to be. The new developments have been very much the work of Simon and his small team; his use of volunteers and links with Easton College and their horticultural students have been innovative and led to the garden becoming more widely recognised.

Photos kindly provided by members Jenny Bovaird, Anne Keenan and Guy Cheeseman