Thursday, 18 June 2015

Ashe Park visit

Jane and I have recently become shareholders in a vineyard! It is a new business formed from the relics of the Wineshare club that we had been members of since the 1990s. We have always loved the wines from Domaine du Grand Mayne and we were very disappointed when Wineshare folded, but last weekend we went to hear about how a new business has "risen from the ashes" as they say. How appropriate that the HQ of the company is based in the grounds of Ashe Park, near Basingstoke (conveniently only about 20 miles from where we live)!

Ashe Park

This post is not about a shareholder meeting. It is about the gardens of Ashe Park. We didn't know this before we went, but the gardens are often opened to parties of visitors in order to raise money for charity, and they are also opened as part of the National Gardens Scheme, of which I wrote last week. After the formalities of the shareholder meeting (followed by lunch and wine-tasting), we were allowed to roam around the gardens at our own pace. Having failed to anticipate this opportunity, I had not taken my camera, but fortunately I had my phone with me, so here are some of the photos I took with it.

Gosh, that photo emphasises the leaden sky! I'm sure the gardens would have been even nicer in sunshine but...

The Wildflower meadow - a huge expanse of white Daisies:

The gardens are full of little gems like this:

And this...

And sculptures, some of which I liked...

And some of which I didn't...

For me the main attraction of course was the potager, aka veg garden. As soon as I saw it, I thought of Chateau Villandry! (Perhaps in slightly smaller scale).

Hey look, their raised beds are just like mine!

It's amazing how ornamental  a few Pak Choi can be...

Or some red Lettuces.

The leaves of the Red Cabbage had no holes at all. How do they manage that???

More sculpture, this time combined with a water feature.

Looks like a good crop of Gooseberries.

A study in perspective:

The Guardians of the Gate - penguins, of course!

Naturally, with so many flowers, the gardens were full of bees...

Just in case anyone reading this is also a wine fan, here is a link to the website of the new business I mentioned at the start of the post - Domaine du Grand Mayne, in the Cote de Duras, not far from Bergerac. I can't recommend the wines highly enough. Not "fancy" wines. Not £50 a bottle wines, but £7 or £8 a bottle wines, and wines that win lots of awards - even in France! Fantastic value for money.


  1. What beautiful gardens. Do you think the veg garden is just for show or do they ever harvest anything?

    1. I think it was just for show - which is a shame.

  2. Those gardens are fabulous but the potager, wow. I always head for the veg gardens when I visit places like this, it's so interesting to see what's growing and what the crops are like.

  3. Very nice. I have to agree with you on the sculptures. What bothers me about perfect vegetable gardens like that is that they seem to be there to look pretty and not for use, because if they were there for use, wouldn't someone have been harvesting some of that pak choi?

    1. Yes, I think you are right about the veg. Just TOO pretty.

    2. Well I love cooking and eating veg, but you have to admit they were stunning to look at, there's no reason to deny something to the flower areangers and ornamental gardeners just because it happens to be lovely to eat!

  4. Love the veg garden as well. I'm surprised that they wouldn't harvest the veg & perhaps give it to a local food bank. Why let such lovely produce go to waste? It's funny you should mention the overcast skies - during the garden tours I went on, we were always hoping for cloud cover as that made for the nicest photos.

  5. Your phone takes great photos - a lovely place

  6. That looks an amazing garden! I love the way they have planted those lettuces! What a bonus to have wine and a garden to visit. Will you be visiting there every year now? Sarah x


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