We had been warned that last year about 100 people bought tickets for the towns charity garden openings. 100 people seemed like a lot to be walking around my garden, but we thought whatever, why not.
Now, I am a nosey person by nature and you couldn’t get anyone nosier than my husband. He believes everyone should have a plaque outside their homes saying what they do as a job and how much they earn, so you could tell if you could afford their house or how they got it. So I had no problem with people nosing around my garden and peeking in the windows.
Well, it was with some surprise ( or maybe not ) that after our walk around the gardens, all the gardens we loved had been in the same families since at least 1957. The families in them had never lived anywhere else since they had married. Now, these weren’t small properties, they are some of the most unique, large old properties our town has. These properties are well out of the reach of “ normal” people. I mean one of the gardens alone employs a full time gardener! I think this sort of thing will never happen again. Properties are so expensive nowadays and these properties would all be in excess of a million pounds if they went up for sale now. What first time buyer could buy that now and live in it for 50 years +.
My garden had some serious competition, and it was definitely one of the smaller ones. Our house now stands on only a quarter of the land it started with. Each owner has taken a portion of the grounds and built a house to live in. So our garden is a bit compromised now in proportion to the house. But I think our garden offered some of the most colourful planting out of all the houses we visited. Plus add to it the fact that we have only been in the house for 3 years and in that time we have replanted the majority of the plants.
It was a long, tiring 3 hours and we walked miles. The first garden we couldn’t wait to see, is just over the road from me. It had by far the most impressive grounds. It had 2 lakes, a river and 5.5 acres. It even had a peacock on the lawn!
People would be visiting mine after this one!!!!!!
But at least one of the others on my road, owned by our local MP was so bad we didn’t think it should have been open. It was a complete, dilapidated mess. Plus a building site as well.
We returned to our house to make our door man a cup of tea and we got a fit of the giggles when we saw a lady with a Zimmer frame trying to get up our gravel drive. There were already some people in the garden. Very weird…..
I think we were the only people who weren’t in their gardens to talk to people. But we really wanted to look around the gardens, so we were disappointed we didn’t get to speak to people and what they thought of all our hard work. But maybe next year?
We went to formal gardens, cottage gardens, ones with orchards and grass tennis courts, but all three of us agreed on our favourite garden. the fact that it was in one of the largest houses in our town didn’t actually matter to us. The second you walked in to it you felt at home. It had such a lovely feel about it. It wasn’t the best planted or manicured. But it was old and established and had everything you could want in a garden.
It was again an old family house that the owners had been there over 50 years. There family run one of the oldest businesses in the Town, along with our butchers. Who had a very impressive formal garden. That must have a gardener or two.
we almost run out of time, as we didn’t use the mini bus service provided. We had to return home and jump in the car, so as not to miss one of the secret houses in our Town. The man had lived at the spot for his entire 80+ years. It’s down a track hidden away on a busy road. But you enter over an acre and a half of tranquil paradise. He had orchards a walnut grove, a vegetable garden and many other gardens around the house they built, stood in the middle.
It was a lovely day and I look forward to next years. Teddy was an angel and didn’t bark once.
He just watched everyone out of the windows.
We saw the organiser of the event on our way around and apparently they believe they had sold over 260 tickets.
260 people traipsing through my garden!!!!!!! No wonder the grass is looking a bit tired.