making the most of our National Trust membership
We became National Trust members for the first time last year and renewed our membership this year by default when I didn’t notice the annual subscription was taken 3 weeks before it expired. I’m too used to doing things at the eleventh hour it seems. Don’t get me wrong, membership is well worth the cost, I waivered only because of the timing of the payment and probably would have let it lapse for a few months before rejoining presuming April showers might prevent us from getting out and about. As it happens we’ve used our membership 5 times* already so I’m glad of the National Trusts’ presumptuous efficiency with membership renewals.
The first of this year’s visits was to Westbury Court Garden, the only restored Dutch style water garden in the country and the nearest NT property to home. I’ve driven past it hundreds of times over the years yet only been there once, a decade or more ago, with my Mum and Nan. I recall my lovely, straight talking Nan being somewhat underwhelmed by the experience – a reflection of her simple view on life [‘It’s just a garden‘] rather than a lack of appreciation for the hard work by staff and volunteers that goes into maintaining this beautiful, historic site. E on the other hand was very effusive [”I love it here’‘] and especially liked feeding the fish in the canals, watching the water fountain and pointing to the plants growing in the 17th Century vegetable beds and asking what they were called.
The array of tulips reminded me of my allotment neighbours Pat and Robin who always have smatterings of tulip flair dotted among their edible plants. I felt a little wistful for my lost allotment love and found myself thinking of my Nan momentarily. Just as quickly I was pulled back into the present by E calling ”Mum, come and find me, I’m going to hide in that little house’‘. Life moves on but a little bit of time stands still in beautiful tranquil places like Westbury Court Garden. Hooray for The National Trust and the wonderful work they do to look after the sites we’ve grown to love visiting. Places like these that offer grown ups an opportunity for quiet reflection while the kids run off to explore.
* return visits made to Woodchester Park, Croome Park, Newark Park and Woodchester Park and a first time visit to Snowshill Manor for the Easter Egg hunt.
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