As part of the National Garden Scheme, Phil Broomfield head gardener at the Russell-Cotes, took a group of SI Bournemouth club members and family/ friends around the garden on June 10th explaining the history of the house and its grounds. Merton Russell-Cotes owned the adjacent Royal Bath Hotel and built the Victorian villa next to it for his wife, Annie, as a birthday present in 1902. When they passed away the house was left to the town of Bournemouth filled with treasures that they collected during their travels around the world. This included cuttings from several plants that still exist in the garden today including a willow tree which originated at the grave of Napoleon on the island of St Helena. Phil had many interesting stories to tell and brought the garden to life on the tour. We ended it with a cream tea in the café and would highly recommend that others contact Phil to arrange a similar outing.
If you are interested in this or other similar projects and would like to come along to a Soroptimist International Bournemouth meeting to find out more, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.