Dunsborough Park 2020

Posted on 04/10/2020 By

Bertie on a bench at Denbies Hillside.

Denbies Hillside.

Bertie: “Bobby – is it the last day of summer?”

Bobby: “Looks like it, Bertie. We are going to Dunsborough Park tomorrow and the forecast is cold and wet!”

Bertie: “Count me out.”

Bobby: “I already have!”

Bertie: “Thanks.”

Dunsborough Park 2020

The Gatehouse, Dunsborough Park.

The Gatehouse.

We have been to Dunsborough Park before and featured it in our stories. 2020 was different this year, of course. The Tulip Festival was cancelled. The Wisteria Festival cancelled too. In fact, we didn’t look again but noticed driving down Newark Lane a few days before that they were reopening for the Dahlia Festival. Just a few days. Very different to years gone by. Just 30 people allowed in am and 30 pm over a few days. No garden parties, tea or home-made cake. Socially distanced. The biggest change was that, with so few cars, entrance was through the magnificent gatehouse and long winding drive. It gave a totally different historical element to the entire estate.

It was the day after the “last day of summer”. Cold, damp, miserable. Until you entered the gardens. Brooding in their damp magnificence. There was an air of total peace. All 30 visitors had to be there before 2 o’clock and then have two hours to while away the time. Following the Watercress Walk, he has gone mad on watercress and tomato sandwiches. Sitting on a damp seat with the light rain irrelevant, he hardly saw a soul as he munched his healthy picnic. And resolved to share the time with you. Rumour has it the estate is up for sale. It would be so sad if this was really the last time at Dunsborough Park. We hope not.

The Entrance.

The Gatehouse.

The Gatehouse.

Into the Dunsborough Park Estate.

Into the Estate.

600 year old Oak Tree in Dunsborough Park.

600 year old Oak.

A mile long drive and here is the bridge into Dunsborough Park garden.

A mile long drive and here is the bridge into the garden.

Into the Garden.

Lush vegetation.

Lush.

Indian Bean tree.

Indian Bean tree.

Here’s where the Garden Party was in 2019.

Here’s where the Garden Party was in 2019.

 

Where once there were charity gazebos, tea and home made cake. Lot of people. Now just a memory.

Where once there were charity gazebos, tea and home made cake. Lot of people. Now just a memory.

We love old Dunsborough Park.

We love old Dunsborough Park.

Japanese Anemones.

Japanese Anemones.

Verbena.

Verbena.

The Dahlia Festival.

Get ready. Like “summer rain”, the Dahlias looked more vibrant and fresher in the soft drizzle. Unforgettable to the few there.

Dahlia

Dahlia

Dahlia

Dahlia

Dahlia

Dahlia

Dahlia

Dahlia

Dahlia

Dahlia

Dahlia

Dahlia

Dahlia

Dahlia

Dahlia

Dahlia

Dahlia

Dahlia

Dahlia

Dahlia

Dahlia

Dahlia

Time to Go.

Back through secret gardens.

Statue in Dunsborough Gardens.

Lush foliage in the secret garden at Dunsborough Park.

Lush.

Ornamental pond at Dunsborough Park.

Wet.

Secret garden at Dunsborough Park.

Secret garden.

Even lusher foliage in Dunsborough Park.

Even lusher.

Terracotta love at Dusborough Park.

Terracotta love!

Goodbye Dunsborough Park. We do hope we can come back in 2021.

Goodbye Dunsborough Park. We do hope we can come back in 2021.

Conkers.

The Gentle Author is Bobby’s mentor and we would like to share this post with you. It reminds him of those schoolboy days in Nonsuch Park, Cheam, where the main drive is lined with horse chestnut trees and always been known as “Conker Alley”.  How he and his friends were so impatient they threw sticks up the trees to knock the conkers down and incurred the wrath of park keepers. And just the other day he filled his pockets with glistening conkers to remember Diddley in Ivan Bunked Off.

Lighting a Candle for Diddley.

Red flowers against a hedgerow backdrop, and a candle lit for Diddley.

– – – – – – – –

Gardens    


  1. Avatar Nancy says:

    Dear Bob Thank you SO MUCH for sharing your beautiful photos of your visit to Dunsborough and the dahlia garden abd surroundings.
    Possibly more striking in the rain.

    Nancy

  2. Avatar Chris Norman says:

    Hi Bob. What beautiful flowers and some wonderful picture despite the rain.

    • Avatar Bertie says:

      The rain enhanced the colours Chris. I just hope with so much uncertainty in the world that a private paradise like Dunsborough Park survives. The irony is that is less than a mile from RHS Wisley and couldn’t be more different. Both wonderful but from different worlds.

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