The Cotswold village of Ilmington is eight miles south of Stratford upon Avon. Lying at the foot of the Ilmington Downs, it is the highest village in Warwickshire.
Eight gardens in the village opened their gates to visitors on Sunday 7 April 2013, under the National Gardens Scheme, with a share of the proceeds going to Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance.
After a particularly cold March, with biting easterly winds and snow drifts of six feet (some snow still visible on the road verges), the gardens were not at the stage they would normally have been.
With snow covering the ground until very recently, the garden owners had little time to prepare their gardens, but in spite of this they were very neat and tidy. Established shrubs and trees provided good structure to the gardens and colourful stems of cornus shone out as stars of the winter garden. The daffodils were still in tight bud in the gardens, but some pot grown ones were thoughtfully placed. However crocuses, snowdrops, wood anemones and other spring bulbs were bravely flowering.
During the afternoon the Traditional Ilmington Morris Men, together with their guests the East Suffolk Morris Men, danced their way around the village to entertain the garden visitors. Their participation in the open garden afternoon provided a wonderful traditional village atmosphere.
A fabulous selection of delicious home-made cakes and teas in the Village Hall were sold in aid of the Children’s Society.
Here are some photos from the afternoon; please click on a thumbnail to enlarge and scroll through.
Thanks to all the garden owners who allowed us to look round their gardens, to the Morris Men who entertained and all the people involved in baking cakes and serving the teas.