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Kent Alpine Gardener's Diary

This entry: 10 December 2017 by Tim Ingram

A short walk in the woods.

A short walk in the woods.

The countryside to the south and west of Faversham is interlaced by numerous winding narrow lanes and valleys, interspersed with woodlands and hidden hamlets and villages. An interesting place to explore and get lost. This short walk in the woods starts with something truly remarkable in the village of Eastling - a venerable Yew that may be upwards of 2000 years old, still in the prime of life, standing by the entrance to the small church as if hinting at some perennial modesty.

A short walk in the woods.

"Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars,               the ancient law of life". [Hermann Hesse]

(This website is an excellent introduction to the ancient yews across the country https://www.conservationfoundation.co.uk/weloveyew/tour/, and the churchyard at Eastling has a number of other 'younger' specimens which probably still date back to when the church was built between the 11th and 14th centuries, if not earlier)

From the church a footpath crosses fields and down to the bottom of a valley where a long wood runs north-east to south-west, big old beeches occasionally lining the path - which must be several hundred years old - along with more sizeable yews.

Walking south-west it skirts open fields glowing in the low afternoon winter light...

... passing this house on the edge of the woods...

... and on into a sunlit alley between the trees.

Not much colour anywhere apart from these spindle fruits that stood out in the hedgerow on the way back to Eastling.

In the village itself are seveal good gardens (and gardeners) that we know, especially this delightful cottage planting alongside the 'main' road, made by Janet Bryant, who has taught gardening and horticulture and in the past opened her garden for the NGS and other charities.

It's the detail of a garden that tells you about the artistry and enthusiasm of the gardener...

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