Chelsea 2012
May 22-30th, 2012

Tue 22 May 12

Tue 22 May 12 Arrival into London with everyone making their own way to the hotel and meet later on this evening for our Welcome Dinner. The Copthorne Tara Hotel London Kensington is one of the most well known 4 Star hotels in London. It is ideally located in a quiet corner of the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea and offers convenient access to other areas of London.

This hotel is in a great area for walking, shopping and gardens too. Kensington Tube Station also has a great Marks & Spencer and Boots Drugstore as well as other assorted shops including a great pasty shop.

Wed 23 May 12

After breakfast we will board our coach for our full day excursion to Upton Grey and Westgreen House.

Upton Grey Manor House – here we will enjoy morning coffee and a guided tour.

"If there is some way that I could choose my eternal paradise, this would be it. An English garden in summer filled with the soothing colour of flowers, heady with the perfume of roses and alive with the buzzing of insects and chattering of birds. I am here at the garden of Ros Wallinger in Hampshire"
......the late Geoff Hamilton

‘30 years ago this garden in Upton Grey, was nothing more than an unkempt jungle. What we didn't realise when we bought the property was that underneath the jungle were the foundations of a very special garden, indeed one that Gertrude Jekyll had designed in 1908 for a house belonging to Charles Holme, a leading figure in the Arts and Crafts movement. We had very little knowledge of gardening until we came to Upton Grey; that was soon to change with the unearthing of this important piece of garden history.’ Ros Wallinger

…’ living museum of Gertrude Jekyll's plants and design’

Be sure to read the fascinating and passionate history of this garden…

‘I am strongly of the opinion that the possession of a quantity of plants, however good the plants may be themselves and however ample their number, does not make a garden; it only makes a collection. Having got the plants, the great thing is to use them with careful selection and definite intention.... It is just in the way it is done that lies the whole difference between commonplace gardening and gardening that may rightly claim to rank as a fine art.’

So wrote Gertrude Jekyll in 1908…

West Green House – our visit to include a guided talk by the owner and ‘Ritz’ Style Afternoon Tea

“That demanding, rewarding fusion can be savoured in the sumptuous gardens and Georgian architecture of West Green House." Country Life Magazine 2011

"West Green House Gardens has many features which are original and inspirational. A grand water staircase, created by Marylyn Abbott, provides the focal point to the Nymphaeum fountain designed by Quinlan Terry. By the house is a charming small topiary garden where water lilies flourish in small water tanks sunk in the ground. Itruns up to a handsome aviary inhabited by unusual breeds of bantams and chickens. Beyond, are a dramatic new Persian water garden in a woodland glade, a newly restored lake, more follies and fancies, new walks and massive plantings of snowdrops, daffodils and fritillaries. Lavishness is a hallmark of the Abbott style – 10,000 tulip bulbs are planted every year – but Marylyn also emphasizes the importance of drama, colour, innovation and humour in the garden. The lessons for the visitor are endless: you cannot fail to be inspired, cheered, amused and delighted by
This extraordinary garden” Extracts from Charles Quest-Ritson (For the RHS Garden Finder 2007)

Marylyn Abbott purchased the 99 year lease of West Green House from the National Trust in 1993. Since then it has been run as a private garden as the National Trust relinquished all financial and day to day involvement with the estate.

In Marylyn’s latest book "The Resilient Garden" she discusses plants and garden styles, using a collection of plants that will acclimatize to both Mediterranean and cool temperate gardens.


  • New Eden
  • Kids Garden
  • Plant a Row Grow a Row