Heading north up the M6 eventually brings you to Cumbria and the comforting feel of the rolling fells.
The Whitley Garden Interest group were priviledged to visit a hidden gem of a garden. Holehird Gardens, close to Windermere, and managed entirely by volunteers is the home of The Lakeland Horticultural Society.

The views from the garden were stunning, Lake Windermere and a few tourist boats could be seen, but today’s purpose was to view the rare National Collections of Astilbes, Ferns (Daboecia), Meconopsis (blue poppies), Polystichum (heaths) and the magnificent Lakeland Collection of Hydrangea.

All of these were mixed with carefully tended fell borders, Alpine houses, Rock gardens, A natural water fall/cascade and linked via a woodland walk.

We wandered round all these paths constantly stopping to ask “what is that?” So many unseen species, which were helpfully labeled.

So a day to remember by the three members who made it! With special thanks to our driver, who not only found the garden, negotiated the motorway congestion of Greater Manchester, but who also got us to Lakeland for shopping and a great lunch.

This garden is very very highly recommended to all who head out to the Lakes… If you don’t go it really is your loss.

Craft Club update

Just a reminder ladies that there will be no craft club during the holiday month of August.

Our next meeting, Wednesday 18th September,we have invited along Patt, the secretary of Norley W.I. who is kindly going to show us her patchwork and quilting techniques. She has shown regularly at the Chester Show and has been a regular prize winner so we look forward to her visit. 1.30pm start with tea and cake.

Whitley fun & friendship evening – 1st August

We decided to do things a little differently this year in August. Instead of going out we stayed in, and before the meeting we went for a walk around the village.

Back at the Village Hall we began with a game of “Stand Up Bingo” which Virginia Butterworth won. This was followed by a lovely Ploughman’s supper and Orange Fizz produced by Anne O’Neil and other committee members. After that we had time to chat and play the various games that were provided including Giant Jenga, Giant Snakes and Ladders, Giant Dominoes and Connect Four.


“My mother said, I never should, play with the gypsies in the wood!”
We all remember this childhood rhyme, so being Whitley WI we decided to find out more.
What a treat was instore for our lucky garden interest group members.
On a sunny and balmy July evening we were invited to view the extensive colourful and beautifully shaped wooded garden belonging to Sue, one of our members. So much to see, and notice how every flower and every bush blended together, enhancing each other, yes this was a treat in itself.
Then a walk down the lane to Jonty’s house.

Welcoming us in her cider apple orchard were two very special and  intriguing gypsy caravans, painted in the way that only a gypsy can. Looking inside was a total delight with lace curtains, beds and a tiny stove…words can’t describe them, just look at the pictures.

Members had been told they could come dressed up, and many did… a fashion which has long gone, but why not? We looked great.

A wander round Jonty’s garden revealed another oasis of plants and bushes, a lily covered pond and a truly magnificent vegetable garden.

Her half-shire horses came to say hello, or was it the tasty looking carrots they were after?

Supper had been brought by all attendees, so a fine feast was ready with no effort for members to enjoy.

Special thanks for the event went to both Sue and Jonty for their very kind hospitality, and the hours they must have put in to ensure we all saw both gardens at their very splendid best, and to Alan for mowing the car park meadow and moving the caravans into their resting places.

So a truly special treat for all who came, and the question left to answer was “can we make and sell cider for WI funds?”…..Yes why not!!


Betty  kindly led our walk again this month. It was perfect weather to wander through the paths of Marbury Park.
Naming wild flowers was the task of this morning’s walk as they popped up through the undergrowth. We also spotted wild strawberries and raspberries, and a couple of us couldn’t resist a taste of a ripe raspberry.

“Selfie Smiles” in the Woods

We have an extra walk planned this month. On Thursday 1st August we have a fun and friendship evening and for those who fancy an earlier start they can walk some of the back roads and fields of Whitley. This will be lead by Melanie.

Contact Chris or any other committee member if you should want any further information.