My first garden open day
I’ve been blogging about my garden for three years but it was exposed to in-person public scrutiny last week on my first ever garden open day. I organised timed tours on the hour throughout the day and welcomed 56 visitors. Friends baked cakes and helped out selling teas and plants and we raised £950 pounds for my favourite hospice charity.
The audience was a friendly one – members of my local horticultural society – but I still worried that they would be disappointed. I spent the weeks in the run up to the day weeding, tidying, planting out and worrying.
I needn’t have been concerned. They’re gardeners after all and they were just interested to learn about what I was growing, the changes I had implemented, and the ideas I am still mulling over.
The picture above shows me pointing out some of my favourites in the rockery. Unsurprisingly, this was very popular and I know I inspired a couple of people to think about growing more alpines or even setting up a rock garden or trough. Here are some of the plants in the garden that attracted comment.
Tetragonobulus maritimus – Dragon’s Teeth Lotus
This was much admired by so many people. I’m wondering what made it stand out so much – maybe the yellow colour, or maybe the pea-like flower shape. For my part this is a great rockery plant but it quickly looks to swamp all around it. It’ll soon need cutting back.
Lentopodium nivale – Edelweiss
Not the most pretty flower in my opinion but there’s something about the Edelweiss. It prompted lots of chat and the starry flowers certainly draw the eye.
I am very fond of this Pink, mainly because it cost me very little as the numerous clumps were grown from a single seed packet. When I pointed it out it drew several oohs and aaghs encouraged a few extra sales of the spares on the plant sales table.
Ferns and hostas in the woodland garden
The foxgloves are growing beautifully at the moment, and the cooler temperatures in the shade made this woodland area a popular spot for my visitors to stop and chat. The hostas, ferns, special ivies and foxgloves were all admired.
The Tatting fern (Athyrium filix-femina ‘Frizelliae’) was particularly popular, as was a new hosta called ‘Bulletproof’. We all wondered if the name was a reference to a quality much desired in hostas – an ability to repel slugs. Since their visit, a corner of one of the leaves has indeed been munched bit it’s still looking mighty fine.
In the greenhouse
I’ve never been prouder of my greenhouse. I really enjoyed curating the plants to create an attractive display, filling gaps with brightly coloured pelargoniums. I also carefully sweept the floor.
As the last visitors left I enjoyed a refreshing cup of tea in there.
This seasonal diary is part of a weekly link-up of garden bloggers from around the world, called Six on Saturday. For more information and links to other blogs crammed with gardening activity, check the blog of host The Propagator.