Undaunted by the inclement weather, we intrepid gardeners set out on our last garden visits of the year, suitably attired for every eventuality.
At out first garden stop we were met by Anne Greenhall, the owner of Lagg House, which is situated adjacent to a farm (fertiliser on tap) and which contains the National Collection of hydrangeas. Undeterred by rain, we marvelled at the beautiful variety of her shrubs, of which she had collected one hundred and fifty variations. Tea, coffee and a lovely selection of cakes revived us after our efforts to see all in the garden despite the downpour.
Onwards then to a heartwarming lunch provided by the Dunure Inn, which overlooks the picturesque harbour which was recently used in the television series ' Outlander ', to represent Le Havre.
Our next visit to Carnell Estate, which was reached by a lane completely overrun with pheasants, perching in trees and fences, a sight to gladden any gamekeeper's heart.
We were met by the owner who escorted some of us around, regaling us with tales of his his grandmother whilst weeding as he walked, while others were at liberty to wander on their own. The garden has a traditional walled area, beautiful herbaceous borders, a water garden and many Burmese statues, and would be well worth another visit in better weather.
We returned home, punctually as usual, tired, slightly damp, but very glad that we had viewed these two gardens.