GATTON PARK …
… where nature seamlessly meets the man-made.
The afternoon began, as it so often does on Surrey Hill Society visits, with greeting familiar faces and getting acquainted with some new members. All from the shelter of my waterproof hood as the clouds decided to sprinkle us with rain. Hey Ho: Spring Time in Surrey. No matter; within minutes of starting to walk, the sun broke through and we found ourselves bathed in the sight and sound of the bluebells of Nut Wood. A mile or so later, breaking out of the wood, the Capability Brown landscape opened out before us. However, it was only seeing it through the eyes of our expert guide, Glyn Sherratt, I realised just how much contrived the whole scene is. Was it just co-incidence that we passed by the lakes at exactly the time when the sunlight turned the ripples into gold and silver sparkles? Or was it that Glyn was guiding us according to Capability Brown’s design of when best to view it? Something to contemplate as I stood in the tranquillity of Japanese Garden. And yet nothing quite matched the privilege of seeing the view from Gatton House itself across the Mole Valley, usually only visible to the staff and students of the Royal Alexandra & Albert School. Tea, cakes and one final mystery before the end of the afternoon: just how did those earlier gardeners produce the Bundled Ash? I think it is rather nice that our predecessors can still baffle Modern Science!
Carol Coyne – Founder Member