Splendid Sherborne

The weather was set to be sunny and very warm as the BEWI set off to visit Sherborne Castle in Dorset.  They were welcomed at the gate by Maria Wingfield Digby to what is her family home, and has been owned by the Digby family since1617, when the diplomat Sir John Digby purchased the castle for £10,000.  It had been built on the site of a hunting lodge by Sir Walter Raleigh retaining much of his influence.  A tour conducted by guides who know every nook and cranny, every secret and every skeleton in every cupboard, was to reveal an amazing history and many treasures within.  There was so much to learn and see,  representing the family’s wide ranging tastes and decorating styles from great periods of four hundred years of history, including fine furniture and porcelain, numerous family portraits and relics from the civil war.  Everywhere there is evidence of the legacy of the great men and women who resided there including a founder of the Royal Society, Sir Kenelm Digby, and a resident ghost in the Blue Drawing room.  Further delights awaited outside where Capability Brown’s magnificent landscaped parkland spread as far as the eye could see, largely unaltered to this day with fine trees, herbaceous borders and a fifty acre lake.  One cannot visit Sherborne without noticing the many images and sculptures of ostriches, which is an emblem of the Digby family prominent on their coat of arms.  The ladies of BEWI were enthralled with this wonderful place, and many left vowing to visit again.

‘Through the Garden Gate’

It’s not long until the New Forest Show and Hampshire WIs are busy creating displays for the WI marquee.   The WI theme this year is ‘Step Back in Time’ and there are 14 classes that can be entered from ‘Sweets for my Sweet’, ‘So to Bed’, ‘Village Scene’ and also ‘Through the Garden Gate’ which is to create a miniature allotment.  Each theme allows different skills and crafts to be entered.  Sally, Glynis, Ann and Mary have been amazingly creative with their miniaturised vegetables, gardening tools and everything that’s needed for a prize winning allotment.

We wish them and all the other entrants good luck.



Hare’s Ear, Sweet Peas and Green Fingers

A delightful abundance of colour and surprise greeted the members of BEWI Gardening Club when they visited Vicky’s garden.  Behind a beautiful Victorian cottage lay a garden crammed full of plants.  Wild strawberries grew in the paving, clematis climbed up the trees, sweet peas and roses added delicious fragrance and there were plants that we couldn’t name.  Fortunately, Vicky not only has green fingers but keeps plant labels and Bepleurum (common name Hare’s Ear) was identified.   We all had a magical time in this pretty country garden.

Your starter for 10

Bransgore Evening WI entered the Group Quiz knock out round at  Myrtle Hall, Burley.  Our brilliant, brainy members came a creditable second place with 117 points two less than the winners. Our congratulations to Crow WI