Eastbury Flower Festival Report

The Eastbury Flower Festival and Open Gardens started with a Preview Evening on Friday 27th May. Visitors were welcomed to a beautifully decorated church, festooned with marvellous flower arrangements and bathed in evening sunshine. Paul Reynolds, Churchwarden, thanked everyone for supporting the church, with special thanks to Jane Pearson for all her hard work in orchestrating the quite wonderful flower displays.

Sir Michael Howard amused guests with fond memories of his meetings with the Queen and proposed glasses be charged and raised in celebration of the Queen’s 90th Birthday. The PCC and Social Committee were delighted to welcome so many friends to the church. The evening was a sell-out and we were especially pleased to welcome Dame Theresa Sackler, Rt. Revd Lord George Carey and his wife Lady Eileen and all who came; Friends Old and New.

On the following afternoon of Saturday 28th May, the church again hosted the floral “Journey through our Church” together with two lovely village gardens opening their gates to visitors.

That at St. James House, kindly opened by Mr. and Mrs. Charles Barrow whose enchanting “rooms” within their garden enticed visitors past garden structures, through colour-brushed herbaceous borders, under trees and along paths in the wildflower meadow to a delightful Mediterranean garden, complete with gravel garden planting and manicured Italian cypresses. A lovely south facing Summerhouse welcomed visitors to dwell and relax in front of a delightful “rill” water feature.

The garden at Middle Farm, kindly opened by Mrs. Wendy Hordern beckoned visitors along entwining paths past garden ornaments, skirting a small wildlife pond towards a double pergola hosting an elegant and cushioned summerhouse. Herbaceous borders and pots full to the brim with seasonal colours encouraged the journey through a wild garden, past alluring seating areas to a charming walled sanctuary greeted with the scent from lilies of the valley and a promise of tumbling roses and honeysuckle to come.

All appreciated and enjoyed by so many visitors in the afternoon sunshine. Afternoon Tea, together with delicious cakes were served in the marquee and on the church lawns for welcome refreshments. Flower demonstrations by Jane Pearson, a packed plant stall, tempting cakes and biscuits for sale and invitations to enter a Photographic Competition completed a happy afternoon with Raffle Prizes drawn at the end of the day. Sun Hats, Panamas and Prams – Memories of a Happy Day!

On behalf of the PCC and Social Committee, we would like to extend very grateful thanks to our generous sponsors, Dickins Hopgood Chidley Solicitors, Weatherbys Hamilton Insurance, Butler Sherborn Estate Agents and Luck Greayer Bloodstock Shipping Ltd, to our supporting advertisers, to our “home team” for working so hard and most of all, to our visitors for coming!

The sum raised for the Church was a remarkable £5,709. A real help towards the £16,000 running costs needed to keep the village church open this year.

Merrita Jones
Paul Reynolds