Definitely a VKG aficionado, Sandra shows a genuine love for the programmes and everyone involved, in front of and behind the camera. But she also has a realistic eye that isn't fooled by a lick of paint, or by some fanciful idea that you could turn the clock back, somehow, and all would be as it was in Chilton Gardens once more. No, she well understands that such gardens, as part of an estate, can no longer pay their way, and is grateful that those garden walls at Leverton were not swept away, as so many estates and their gardens once were, and that the spaces in and around Chilton's walls are now finding new uses and purposes within the estate once again.
Sandra's canter through the the history of the Chilton Estate paints a picture of the real Chilton Estate, the high's and the low's, which all helps to show how ephemeral estate life can be. However, the personal recollections of the custodians of Chilton, the Wards and now the Scropes, bring a bit of Harry Dodson's world back into focus, as does the retelling of the thread of the TV series.
What Sandra, like many of us, is also grateful for is the perseverance that meant the VKG programmes were made, when they were, and with the people who appeared in them. They captured the last of those old skills and ways, learned by Harry from his Victorian mentors, and used by him early in his career.
Where was the interest in walled gardens, and in what we now call 'heritage' varieties, before 1987? Sandra is in no doubt as to the vital part played by VKG in the revival of both. I now have the long wait 'til the arrival of the Autumn issue and part 3 of Sandra's piece, where that legacy of VKG will be explored.