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Willows garden on Pilley Hill is situated on a steep but manageable incline. The house is perched in the middle of the plot with the effect that the rear beds are on the highest level and the land descends to the lily pond at the bottom.
We visited this colourful exuberance yesterday afternoon. In 2003, the current owners, Elizabeth and Martin Walker, bought a small bungalow with a natural ditch where the
pond is now situated. The current house was built in 2005.
Unusual varieties of hydrangea are one feature.
The herbaceous borders, on a grand scale,
and visitors alike.
Some of the dahlias are really quite strident.
There are huge thistles
and swirling ferns.
Plentiful seating was arranged. You could even sit under a parasol and employ your mobile devices;
you could sit side by side across the pond and watch the other visitors,
perhaps walking over one of the bridges,
passing a pair of hidden herons;
or you could sit quietly enjoying your cream teas, provided you were able to ignore the silent pleading of the resident Labrador.
The women washing up and giving out refreshments were not permitted to handle money, so you had to move across the room to pay the keeper of the coffers. This prompted me to recount the story of ‘A Retirement Project’.
Some of the plants would have graced a much hotter environment. A clump of bamboo soared to the skies,
and a banana tree,
as we departed, proffered the light a leafy playground.
The final surprise was the balloon tree.
This evening we dined at Lal Quilla where my main course was king prawn naga and Jackie’s was chicken hariali. We shared special fried rice, a paratha, and an onion bahji; both drank Kingfisher.