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Audlem Wi Visit to Goldstone Hall

30th June 2024 @ 6:06am – by Stephanie Richardson
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Audlem Wi Visit to Goldstone Hall

Eleven illustrious members of the Women's Institute deigned to grace Goldstone Hall Gardens with their presence for a delightful afternoon of garden perambulation, to be concluded with the obligatory cup of tea and biscuits. This splendid outing, however, was not without its comedic hiccups, starting with a certain individual (yours truly) who, still in a daze from a recent cruise, misinterpreted the meeting point and waited in Audlem Car Park instead of outside the Coop. This embarrassing oversight naturally resulted in a tardy arrival, much to the chagrin of our diligent organiser, Susan Kaufman, who had meticulously planned the day's schedule and could have done without such disruptions.

Despite the initial kerfuffle, the rest of the group managed to navigate the labyrinthine Shropshire roads infrastructure with aplomb. Upon our shamefaced arrival, we were greeted by one of the gardeners who provided a brief history of Goldstone Hall and its verdant gardens. He generously invited us to explore the grounds and seek him out for any horticultural inquiries we might have.

We commenced our meandering through an impressive array of shrubs, walled gardens, and kitchen vegetable plots. As per usual, I found myself surrounded by horticultural experts whose knowledge made my own meagre understanding seem utterly inadequate. The immaculate lawns, which could rival any premier football pitch, were a sight to behold. In a moment of culinary curiosity, and following the example of another member who's culinary knowledge put me to shame, I sampled some rocket and only after savouring its peppery delight did I realise I had committed a minor act of theft. Fortunately, the discovery that this was wild rocket added a touch of botanical learning to my day.

Our stroll culminated at the Oak Pavilion where we were served tea, coffee, and biscuits. Predictably, the poor waiter had to scrounge for sugar, an item seemingly eschewed by everyone except myself and one other member. The Head Gardener then joined us, answering all our lingering questions. I was particularly relieved to learn that my wisteria pruning methods were sound, and the identification of the stolen rocket added a small but satisfying nugget of knowledge to my repertoire.

As the afternoon sun began to wane, we departed Goldstone Hall Gardens, our spirits lifted by the beauty of our surroundings and the pleasure of amiable company. Despite the initial misadventure, we all agreed that it was a thoroughly enjoyable and enlightening visit.

Despite my tardy arrival, the day was a blooming success. The gardens were a feast for the eyes, and our poor waiter's frantic search for sugar was quite the spectacle. It's nice to know I'm not alone in my sweet tooth amidst a sea of health-conscious tea drinkers!

Thank you Susan for your meticulous planning ensured that everything went off without a hitch...well, almost everything. I must apologise once again for my geographically challenged moment at Audlem Car Park. Clearly, my post-cruise brain still believes it's navigating the high seas rather than Shropshire's roadways. I promise to consult a map (or perhaps a GPS) next time!

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