Set within a walled garden above the River Severn on the Worcestershire border is one of the oldest and finest arboreta in Britain. It was begun around 1800 by Earl Mountnorris who owned the Upper Arley village estate. But by the 1950s both arboretum and the village cottages had fallen into neglect. Enter Roger Turner, Midlands philanthropist and iron and steel man. He set about restoring the arboretum and brought Arley village back to life, repairing properties, building new homes and a community centre. When he died in 1999, the estate was left to his Charitable Trust. The arboretum was first opened to the public in 2002, its objectives both recreational and educational. So could one a imagine a lovelier venue for last Saturday’s gathering of nurserymen and women all selling their very special garden plants?
The fair was set up just outside the walled garden entrance and overlooking the parkland. For the small price of £2.50 you could go to the fair and spend the whole day in the arboretum.
And then into the arboretum: