15th March 2017
On Sunday 9 April, Lucy and David Abel Smith, are opening the gardens of Quenington Old Rectory near Cirencester for the popular annual Rare Plant Fair. 21 well known Nurseries will be offering a wide range of unusual and special plants. Homemade refreshments are available and provided by the Cobalt volunteers. Half of the proceeds of the admission price will be donated to Cobalt, the Cheltenham based leader in MRI scanning. The other half to Rare Plants. Funds raised will be put towards a new MRI scanner. Admission will be £5 per adult with free entry for under 16’s. Opening hours 11.00am to 4.00pm. Assistance dogs only.
The Old Rectory garden has been developed over eighty years and is run on organic lines with much of the planting created by the late Esme Bradburne, a former head gardener and founder member of the Soil Association. There will be a small collection of sculptures on show in advance of Fresh Air 2017, the biennial exhibition. The garden contains herbaceous borders, a pool garden a large vegetable garden and mature trees planted by a vicar’s wife at the end of the 18th century. On one of the trees is a memorial to Esme Bradburne, 1905-2005, made by Gary Breeze. It is a quote from Goethe: “The Soul of Man resembles the Water, the Fate of Man resembles the Wind”. The grounds are set between a mill race and the River Coln adjoined by bridges.
Julia Jenkins, Head of Fundraising, Cobalt said: “It’s wonderful of Lucy and David to throw open their beautiful grounds to welcome visitors in support of Cobalt. 21 nurserymen come to the Old Rectory to provide plants for the sale. It’s a rare opportunity to gain access to these fantastic gardens, buy quality plants and get first–hand advice from growers about the plants they sell.”