Ambleside & District

Activities during 2013-4

With new coordinators Jenny Massie and Sue Gardner, supported Janice Beardsley, we began the new season with an open meeting to plan for the coming year.

We began our activities in February with Snowdrop Sunday. This however was not a huge success as the weather was very inclement and as a result we cancelled the group visit mainly because of concerns with the slippery and steep paths. Some hardy members went anyway and enjoyed the afternoon in spite of the weather.

The apple grafting held in the orchard of Rydal Hall was well attended. Andrew Gilchrist, the SLOG representative, demonstrated and then let us loose on the apple trees. It was a wonderful afternoon being the first warm day of the year and very informative. We learned a great deal as it was such a practical event.

In April Janice welcomed us into her lovely garden to hold a plant swap. This year we asked members to let us know what they would bring so that mostly all the plants were ones that were already spoken for or welcomed by other members. Members from Kendal Gardening group joined us and were made very welcome. It was a very successful event with few plants unclaimed.

In May Anne Gledhill made us very welcome in her beautiful garden. It was at its best with a wonderful display of rhododendrons, primulas and many other rare species of trees and shrubs, She and her husband had built the entire garden themselves, Anne now continues to work tirelessly and welcome visitors to her garden - a daunting task and all those who joined us were in awe of her work and dedication to the garden they had created.

June saw us once again taking part in a wonderful garden tour arranged by Penny Henderson. For those of us who always look forward to this event it was once again a winner. The two centres Penny focused on were Swansea and Bristol. We had a party of 30 members which included two from the Kendal Garden group. For those who have never taken part I would like to explain that the whole event is very supportive of all members and gives us a chance to get to know each other better. We also find time to explore the areas we visit in the evenings and mix even sometimes playing bridge or just chat.

The Sunday after we returned some of our members visited Gresgarth Hall, Caton to enjoy the gardens designed by Arabella Lennox Boyd. These are a treat at any time of the year and we will hopefully be visiting again on the last Sunday in October before the season finishes.

Our visit to Tatham Park was cancelled due to lack of support.

In August Jenny Massie led a group of members on a tour of Holehird and gave them a talk about the house and its history. She also led the tour around the grounds and particular areas of interest. Jenny has been involved with Holehird for many years and enjoyed sharing her knowledge with the U3A guests. The weather was kind and the plan was to have a picnic following the tour. There were at least 10 members present and it was thoroughly enjoyed by all present.

Sue Gardner