open gardens

White Siberian iris in front of Kolkwitzia

Its been a little bit busy here-on two consecutive weekends in June we first hosted an Open Garden to raise money for the local Village Hall and then a Garden Party complete with marquee on the meadow for 85 guests to celebrate some very special anniversaries in our lives. Both events were incredible fun. And organising both has occupied us for the first 6 months of the year.

The gravel patio with unamed blue geranium

The Open Garden in the middle of June is an annual event in our village and this year 11 gardens were opened for two afternoons in the middle of June. It has been looming on our gardening horizon for quite some months, but the very idea of doing this quite crazy thing proved to be both mind focussing and rewarding. Many of the visitors were from the village but some came from the further ends of the county and over the boundary into Shropshire.The indifferent weather of the Saturday afternoon was surpassed by the very pleasant Sunday and as we were also selling ice cream and had a plant sale, people did arrive in numbers.Over the 2 days we had just over 120 visitors and I had  enjoyable conversations with many of them.

Kolkwitzia peak flowering
Kolkwitzia peak flowering in the Kitchen border

In plant terms, the azaleas were finished and the roses had hardly started-it was such a late season, but the foxglves, lupins and astrantias were at their most magnificent and they filled the borders beautifully. The kolkwitzia  and spirea arguta in full bloom were spectacular and enough of the irises were making a show for the absence of roses to be hardly noticed.

Tall and stately exclamation marks-foxgloves and delphinium grown from seed and lupins

It has been a good year for lupins and delphiniums. The cool weather has kept the lupins going for ages and kept down the numbers of slugs  but in a short week between Open Gardens and the party, the weather warmed up and the roses and  most of the delphiniums came out in a rush. I will put up those pictures next time as otherwise i will never finish this post and you will all be bored reading.

Would I open the garden again? Maybe, but not next year. Having the 2 events a week apart was the spur we needed but we have spent many, many hours getting to the point of being ready in our own minds to share what we have.We love the garden and the setting but are oddly still thin-skinned about what other people think, even though we do what we do for pleasure. Having said that, people couldn’t have been kinder in their comments. But it has given me a new insight into the work involved and people who do chose to open their beloved private spaces on a regular basis, well I  admire them enormously.

The South border with thalictrum, aquilegias persicaria and centaurea

10 thoughts on “open gardens

  1. Your garden looks wonderful and you must have been pleased after all your hard work. I love the border with the Thalictrum and Persicaria. The Geranium looks like Geranium magnificum.

    1. Thank you Chloris. The border was looking great then. Thanks for naming that geranium too. I looked it up and I’m sure you are right- one glorious show in June and then gone for another season.

  2. I admire anyone that takes the decision to open their garden, a brave decision. Glad to read it all went well and that the other event was a success too. I love all the combos you have focused on in this post, my kind of planting.

  3. You are very brave to do it and I can imagine the amount of work that went into it. The garden looks fabulous, well done! And now it’s yours to enjoy for the rest of the summer.

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