On Saturday 11th June, alumnus Rupert Nabarro (1963) and his dog ‘Muddy Puddle’ hosted an Open Gardens event at Bere Mill, situated along the River Test in Hampshire.
About 50 alumni attended from various matriculation years. Families brought picnics to enjoy on the grounds, and tea and cake was served later in the afternoon.
Rupert gave a detailed talk in one of the two barns, where he spoke about the history of the Mill, which he and his wife Elizabeth rescued from near dereliction 25 years ago, lovingly restoring it to its current state.
On the Upper Test with picturesque water meadows and wooded valleys, Rupert’s garden offers herbaceous borders, bog and Mediterranean plants, as well as a replanted orchard and two small arboretums. Features include early bulbs, species tulips, Japanese prunus, peonies, wisteria, irises, roses, and semi-tropical planting. The garden is complemented by a small mixed grassland farm with traditional breeds of sheep and cattle; this is both to enhance the landscape surrounding the garden, but also to practice traditional self-sufficient farming practices.
Overall, it was a wonderful afternoon with great weather to complement and we were delighted that so many Orielenses were able to join us.