Most of the gardens featured banks of flowering azaleas and rhododendrons under stately English oaks and beeches.
The smallest garden on the tour had some of the best features, including the water feature with the floating silver balls. It also had the best view, especially when seen through the foliage of a native tree fern.
The photo of the beautiful bank of erythroniums and hellebores gracing one of the grand estates is for my friend Lambert. They are all the common E. x versicolor 'Suphureum', but it was the mass of them, extending perhaps 30 metres along the base of a drystone wall, that was so impressive.