Monday, 20 June 2011

Secret Gardens 2011

Yesterday dawned bright & clear...not too warm, but the perfect day for our Secret Gardens event! 18 gardens around the Old Town opened ...and we raised over £1000 in total to be divided between 2 local charities (they change each year).

Everything was ready, really...as you know, I adopt a 'little & often' approach to the gardening, which in such a small space keeps it under control. So we only had to do a few last minute cosmetic touches. Paul scrubbed the deck, while I went around checking that Alice hadn't left any - ahem - little surprises in the undergrowth!
This is the view from the back of the house...isn't the church clocktower wonderful? You can just see Paul scrubbing that deck...& Alice reclining on the bench (supervising..)

And the garden was all ready...




the space above is one we have recently cleared for Paul's exciting new hobby...in a week or so's time, there will be a beehive in this spot! He has taken many courses (ongoing, because you never stop learning about bees) and a few weeks ago we bought the hive, complete with tenants, and all the equipment. The hive is, at present, in a village a few miles away...he went to inspect it on Saturday and was thrilled to find a new queen in residence, with plenty of eggs and bee grubs and even some honey already! They are almost ready to be moved...so this is a sight I shall be seeing a lot of in days and years to come...

my own personal astronaut...sorry...beekeeper!
Anyway, back to the garden!
I decorated the entrance passageway with some flags designed by the very wonderful Susan Branch , which are so apt for this occasion..


Our next door neighbours (both sides) were open as well, so there was plenty to see along our side of the square! This is the view everyone saw as they approached our gate...

and then the first visitors arrived - about 2.15 - and kept arriving all afternoon!




quite a strange feeling to have so many people we don't know (plus lots we DO) 'invading'! But it's great fun...we are both around to answer questions...lots of these, mainly about the mirrors we have on the back wall! I was asked many times how often I have to clean them...my answer was 'once a year, the day before we open for Secret Gardens!!' This raised a big laugh!
Where was Alice you might wonder? Well, with all the different people in and out, plus the gate being open, it really isn't safe for her to be loose...also a bit distressing for her. So, with the house locked up (and blinds/curtains drawn too for safety) we made a feature of her...

She was quite safe inside, but proved a huge hit...especially with visiting children! She must have felt a bit bewildered...but it was much better this way.
The stream of visitors tailed off at around 5.30pm, and we could close the gates and relax. One set of neighbours invited us for wonderful peach champagne cocktails...and then another neighbour, who is also one of our best friends, was having a barbecue. So we walked around there and had a wonderful, relaxing evening of food, wine and laughter before collapsing into bed at 10pm! A wonderful day.

I hope you can see the video I posted... the first time I have tried it, so if it works there will be more!

I hope you had a fantastic weekend...one last thing before I go....I was walking to The Coffee Tree this morning, when I saw this sweet sight. It is Paul's car roof by the way...it is made of cloth, so must have been a wonderfully warm spot, like a hammock for the dear kitty!


Happy day to you xoxo

Monday, 13 June 2011

June in the Garden....

On Sunday, weather permitting, we open our garden to the public as part of the Secret Gardens event which raises money for local charities...yesterday it rained ALL day...and it was cold! So I'm taking every spare minute this week to deadhead, weed, sweep and generally make sure that it's all fit to be seen! 18 gardens around the Old Town are opening this year...we had a rest last Summer, which gave us a chance to go & see everyone else's wonders...and gave people a chance to miss us a little (always a good plan...)
Alice will stay in the house for that afternoon...but this week she's 'helping' me, of course...

I fear the beautiful blue of the ceanothus and the lupins will have faded and almost gone by Sunday...



but there's plenty of colour still to keep it interesting! We may have the beehive in situ by then too...I'm growing lots of blue flowers as they are among the favourites of honeybees...

the clematis is almost over the back wall...it's a late-flowering one, but is early as almost everything is this year due to the warm Spring we had...




I hope we  have sunshine to show off the vivid colours of the geraniums, roses, hydrangeas (which are just emerging) and the sweet little 'Banana Split' nasturtiums..
Lots of edible plants coming along too...

runner beans...

corn...


blueberries and strawberries ripening as the sun gains strength...

I hope there will be some flowers on the tangle of sweetpeas that my dear friend, Sandy, sent me...

I'll be sitting in this chair on the day, ready to greet the visitors and answer any questions they may have about the garden and plants (that's the bit I really enjoy!)
As I was pottering this morning, this little chap landed to bask awhile in the warm sunshine..

and Alice was entranced...

I had to supervise carefully until he finally took flight again!

This is one of the best months for the garden, I think...everything is reaching it's peak...fragrance and colour are at their height, before the long days start to drain their energy and they begin to set seed and turn blowsy...
I'll take some pictures on Sunday to share with you...I wish you could all come and visit too!

Enjoy all that the week has to offer...xo

Monday, 6 June 2011

Perfect picture....

Last week was a difficult one for us all again as my Dad's health continues to cause concern. He went to hospital after another scare - thankfully, he was home again quickly and his medication is being adjusted to hopefully give him more peace of mind and comfort.

In the middle of all the stress and worry, my youngest sister took this wonderful photograph of Dad and my youngest nephew while they were out on a walk in the woods. I wanted to share it with you...it touched me so much.

Spend some time - real time - with those you love this week. I've been guilty so many times of taking it for granted that those dearest to me will always be around when I am less busy....I'm trying to change. Nothing, in the end, is more important.

Cool and rainy today - the garden is singing! I'll be posting my June garden very shortly...

Have a great day xoxo