Open gardens – fuss? What, us?

Thanks to everyone who helped
Winner of our summer photographic competition, Richard Forrest-Hill (right) was presented with his prize, a bottle of wine, by Colin Campbell on Open Gardens day. The winning entry, Self-sown pansy in garden wall, was taken at Richard’s home at Old Hall Farms. “It is the first thing that comes out every year,” says Richard. “It’s always a delight; the colours are so glorious.”

The idea was to show off the gardens more or less in their natural state – so no manicuring lawns, clearing up that messy corner, or last-minute repairs. But, as organiser Jeanne Buchanan observed: “I know we said we wouldn’t fuss, but didn’t everyone tidy up just a bit?”
However, it paid off as an estimated 300 visitors to the Burgh in Bloom open gardens on Sunday (3 June) raised £2581.85 for church funds.
They strolled round the 10 gardens and many enjoyed a quiche lunch and strawberries and cream at The Old Fighting Cocks, where, for the first time, there was a bar serving wine and Pimm’s.
Afternoon tea and cakes were served at the Reading Room while at a nearby garden, young entrepreneur Jack Rochester, aged seven, sold squash to thirsty customers boosting proceeds by £4.80.
Afterwards, Jeanne said: “Despite deluges elsewhere, the sun shone for us and we had a wonderful day. All the gardens looked lovely.
“A heartfelt ‘thank you’ all for all the hard work and effort you put into the day. Not just you who opened your gardens, but the providers and servers of quiches and cakes, garden furniture, prizes, putting up posters, and ticket and parking supervisors. The day couldn’t happen without you, and St Mary’s Church thanks you for your contribution to keeping it viable in the village.
“A departing guest was overheard saying: ‘What a lovely village, and such nice people, too.’ That’s you, folks, and thank you so much.”

. . . and the ladies in waiting


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