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Richard Holmes, Beauchamps

My apologies for very carelessly getting Joan Crouch’s name wrong last week. Even before it appeared in print I realized my mistake, but by then it was too late to change it. I’m grateful to Joan for being so good about it.

Knellstone House’s unenviable past record of bad weather whenever its garden was open to the public seemed likely to continue last Sunday, but by opening time the rain had stopped and the clouds began to clear, giving us a blue sky and warm sunshine for the rest of the afternoon. So the garden was looking its best, and much enjoyed by the 105 visitors who came along. The charities supported by the National Gardens Scheme benefited by over £600, and the Friends of St Mary’s Church by £177 (the proceeds of the tea and delicious cakes served by committee members). Thanks to much hard work by Linda and Stuart Harland and their helpers, this made a very fitting Udimore contribution to NGS Festival Weekend.

The next NGS local event takes place today and tomorrow (Friday and Saturday) between 11am and 5pm both days. The spectacularly landscaped three acres of Fairlight End are opposite Pett Village Hall (where there is ample parking). The garden has terraced herbaceous borders, a wild flower meadow with mown paths, a large orchard, two natural ponds joined by a stream and an extensive kitchen garden. Plants for sale. Pimms and wine available, and home-made teas. Dogs welcome, on leads. Admission £4, children free.

Tomorrow (Saturday) and Sunday, between 11am and 5pm both days Brenda Hartill will be opening her gallery and studio at Pound House (opposite Church Gate) to the public again. If you missed it last weekend, do make the most of this second opportunity to see her paintings, etchings and collagraphs. This is a part of the Rye and Northiam art trail.

Looking further ahead, Gill Rothery has asked me to let you know that she hopes to make this year’s Macmillan Coffee Morning an even bigger success than last year’s. Please make a note of the date: Saturday September 27, 10am till noon, in St Mary’s Community Hall. It will again include a bring-and- buy sale, with lots of contributions that are home-made or home-grown. So please bear this in mind when jam and chutney making, baking cakes, scones and biscuits, craft-working, or producing plants, fruit and vegetables in the garden this summer.