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Village Open Gardens anyone?

(19 Posts)
kittylester Mon 26-Jun-17 10:22:56

I know I've bored on about this for ages and ages but it loomed large in our lives for quite a while. grin

Round here (North Leicestershire) lots of the villages hold Open Garden Weekends, usually to raise money for charity - ours is the local Children's Hospice.

Because we live in the Victorian Board School (not because we have a fabulous garden!!) we have been asked lots of times to open ours. We eventually agreed and this last weekend was IT!

We had a fabulous, very tiring, time. We realised that lots of people know as little about plants as we do, the design of our chimney held a lot of interest for most of the men, the kitten inside on the window seat enthralled the children and everyone was very friendly - well apart from the woman who said she really hated geums - we have quite a few!

Some people seem to go around from village to village to look at the gardens. We had Americans (what a really cute (or small) garden), people who camped by the river to visit the gardens, a Japanese woman who came on a hour's train ride to visit the village and see the gardens and people who we knew 30 years ago. It was great.

DD1 lives in the middle of a city where they have an Arts Trail which is equally well supported.

In the midst of all the horribleness that is going on around us it was fabulous to be part of such a 'feel good' event.

Does anyone else get involved with events like this? Is it was good experience?

Alima Mon 26-Jun-17 10:35:34

No, never been involved in anything like that but it sounds a wonderful thing to do and so pleased you enjoyed it. Can we have some pics please? Where was Maisie while the visitors were there? Hiding or enjoying the fuss?

kittylester Mon 26-Jun-17 16:41:45

Maisie was on the kitchen window seat, overlooking the garden, and basking in the attention.

Hilltopgran Mon 26-Jun-17 17:03:28

Village Garden open days have becom every popular in the Derbyshire Peak District, many villages now advertise them. It is a lovely way to enjoy the afternoon, I enjoyed visiting the village gardens morde than the RHS show, and seeing so many diverse and different styles all in a short walk is a real pleasure.

Congratulations Kittylester, what a lovely event to take part in and share your garden with others.

Mapleleaf Mon 26-Jun-17 18:31:50

Your garden looks lovely, kitty.

MrsJamJam Mon 26-Jun-17 19:08:47

We are currently on holiday in north Norfolk and spent a very happy time yesterday at open gardens in a local town. Such fun to meet people who live here and to see more than just the tourist hot spots. It is a lovely idea.

ninathenana Mon 26-Jun-17 19:35:45

Love the idea, I would visit others but mine is not up to inspection. You can stand in the middle of our lawn do a 360° and you've seen it grin
The garden looks lovely kitty you house sounds lovely too.

Sar53 Mon 26-Jun-17 20:07:57

kitty your garden is beautiful, I am very envious. We live in a lovely second floor flat overlooking the sea but have no outside space. I have never been that interested in gardening but now that I am retired I would love to have the opportunity.

kittylester Mon 26-Jun-17 20:33:28

Our garden is very small and we are not gardeners but it hardly mattered.

I'm jealous of sea views, sar.

HildaW Mon 26-Jun-17 20:47:11

Our tiny village did this last year and it worked very well. One homeowner has a small cottage on a large plot behind the church where there are some very old barns. That was turned into the tea room and other people put up a few assorted stalls....such as anything pre-loved for gardens and outdoor activities, a plant stall, a book stall...etc. There were about 8 open gardens who had got on board 6 months before and had made sure their gardens were welcoming and tidy(ish). It was a lovely social afternoon and people moved from garden to garden at their own pace....some returning (several times) to the tea tent for tea and cakes!
Tickets to view all the gardens were sold at the church door - one fee for all the gardens. Owners could have asked to see the ticket as you entered each garden but no one did. Its to be repeated with a years gap....and a different selection of plots, although some may do it again. Each garden was different yet somehow all were typical of the area, modest but loved and shown with pride and a lot of local knowledge.

Alima Mon 26-Jun-17 20:55:10

What a beautiful garden. I am going to see if there is anything like that around here. Is it different to the yellow (I think) books about gardens in different counties which are open to the public sometimes?

kittylester Mon 26-Jun-17 20:56:26

That's how ours was Hilda, though our village is quite large and refreshments, bacon butties, cream teas, arts and crafts and artisan bread were sold in various places. We had about 25 gardens open plus the memorial gardens and the traffic island at the entrance to the village. It was a great experience.

Purpledaffodil Mon 26-Jun-17 21:15:53

What a lovely garden kittylester. Our small town had one event a few years ago and it was fascinating to see all the different styles, from posh riverside ones to amazing use of space in a mobile home garden. Sadly it's never been repeated although I know it is an annual event in many places.

oldgoat Mon 26-Jun-17 21:27:30

Glad your Open Garden event went well kitty Was it organised through a village gardening club? We've just had our village Scarecrow Festival which was fun but I'm wondering whether we could organise an Open Gardens day next year?
As a dog owner I'd like to know whether people allow dogs in their gardens at these events?

grannysyb Mon 26-Jun-17 21:40:52

Opened mine on 11th June from 2 till 6 as part of Teddington in flower. Although ours is a tiny courtyard I think most people enjoyed it, we have raised beds,no lawn and pergola with roses. What surprised me was how some people didn't recognise our rambling rose,"was it philadephus or syringia?" ! However we had about 180 visitors,quite tiring talking most of the afternoon.

kittylester Mon 26-Jun-17 21:41:30

I think dogs on leads were allowed but we only had one - a dachshund.

Our open gardens has been going a long time and was started because someone had experience of the hospice. It is run separately from the garden club but inevitably there is a cross over of personnel. Ours was over a weekend. The next village does the same but not all gardens are open on both days which causes a lot of confusion.

People buy a programme for £4 which entitles them to unrestricted access over the weekend. The openers have a stash of programmes to sell on the day but they are available in various shops in the weeks prior. We also had a duckling hunt -theoretically for children!

grannysyb Mon 26-Jun-17 21:41:51

Didnt mind dogs at all as long as they were wellbehaved.

rosesarered Mon 26-Jun-17 22:37:58

Yes, our village does this open gardens every so often, have seen some fabulous ones ( serious garden envy, lol)
Glad that your went well kitty smile and I do like geums!

KatyK Tue 27-Jun-17 13:16:17

Lovely garden kitty We have been to a few of these open gardens in the past. For anyone visiting Cornwall, there is a real beauty in Polruan in the Fowey Estuary, called The Headland Garden. It's a real stunner. I'm not sure about nowadays but they used to open it one afternoon each week for a small fee. You can sit and look out over the estuary. You could also have a cream tea there smile Some years ago there used to be a Japanese garden in, of all places, West Bromwich. The owner had a small house the garden of which he turned into a Japanese one with bridges and streams, beautiful Japanese plants and water features. He bought the house next door and expanded his garden. He would open it up one day a year for charity. I'm not sure it's still there but it was wonderful to go down this little street, through an entry and into this wonderland.