Jo Pocock, one of the founding Friends of Hestercombe, was guest speaker at Wellington WI’s September meeting. Her talk explored the way the unlikely relationship between the young architect, Edward Lutyens, and much older garden designer, Gertrude Jekyll, led to the creation of Hestecombe’s famous Italianate garden, laid out in the form of a sundial, between 1903 and 1908. Having met by chance after failing sight meant that Jekyll turned to garden design rather than craft activities, the two went on to create more than 100 gardens together and worked with the War Graves Commission after WW1.
Jo also told members about the threat to the gardens in the 1990’s when the Fire Brigade – which used Hestercombe as its headquarters – wanted to put down a hard surface. Just one Councillor’s vote against the proposal saved them at a SCC planning meeting, with the Councillor then taking on responsibility for their restoration in partnership with Cannington College. The Friends of Hestercombe were established at the same time.
Continuing the ‘garden’ theme members then took part in a ‘daisy drive’- like a beetle drive but with players throwing dice to create a daisy. It was reported that some very ‘unusual’ flowers resulted.
The next meeting will be on Thursday 20 October, 7.00 for 7.30 pm at the Beambridge Inn. Members will be running craft sessions filling shoeboxes for the YMCA Christmas appeal. Visitors are very welcome.