Oasis of calm and contemplation

COULD there be a more restful spot for a moment of silent contemplation or thoughtful remembrance of loved ones?

Hats off to the gardeners at Stoke Poges Memorial Gardens: the rhododendrons and wisteria may have faded, the roses are losing their blooms but the gardens still look spectacular and provide a welcome oasis of peace and tranquillity.

The setting may lack that dramatic splashes of colour we saw back in the spring, but this is still a place of beauty and serenity – a haven for quiet reflection where dozens of small secret gardens are dedicated to local loved ones; a place often stumbled upon by poetry lovers making a pilgrimage to the nearby grave of Thomas Gray in St Giles’ churchyard.

It’s not a park, and visitors are asked to treat the gardens with respect and behave accordingly. But see our previous feature, Secret garden soothes the soul, for more detail about the gardens, Thomas Gray and the adjoining churchyard and National Trust monument.

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