Sunday, 8 July 2012

Open Gardens 2012

Our village is holding an "open garden" day today. Everyone who wants to participate throws their garden open to the public for the day. People come for an afternoon out, buy a ticket and wander round the village soaking up the atmosphere of the gardens. There's also a scarecrow trail. K and her friend A made ours - he's a painter.

We are blessed (cursed?) with a large garden which leaves you with two choices: either get into gardening or concrete it over. K is a keen gardener. I get stuck in if I have to and enjoy it when I do. Anyway, open garden day means do the weeding and mow the lawn.

We finally got the garden straight late yesterday afternoon and I thought it would be a good idea to photograph it all. All sorts of bits and pieces have ended up in our garden over the years, as well as the plants. Look out for the stone coat of arms (inherited from my dad), the toilet (complete with aster), the hedgehog-box and the cups sinking in the sink (the carefully sliced cups came from a friend's old shop window display).

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

For scarecrows from past years, click here.


Shadows and Light said...

I guess the Open Gardens are today?
Looks like a great idea & would love to see it. Hope it goes well & that the rain doesn't deter people.

George said...

Thanks, Dominic. I enjoyed this little tour of your very eclectic and interesting garden.

Gerry Snape said...

I love that very creative scarecrow!! brilliant.

Marion McCready said...

nice garden! I love the open gardens idea, just even for the sheer nosiness of getting to explore other peoples gardens! we've inherited a nice garden in our new house with a few oddities in it, you've inspired me to get the camera out and photograph it!

Rachel Fenton said...

I miss my English garden; yours is lovely, especially with all the little treasures.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Your photos are better than mine. I thought your garden looked lovely in spite of the weeks of rain. A lot of hard work goes into keeping a garden like that in good order and K does a marvellous job - glad to hear that you quite enjoy it once you get stuck in!! It is so different from how I had it when I lived there and yet I love it just as much.

Jenny Woolf said...

I really love open gardens in villages. It never ceases to amaze me what different takes everyone has on basically the same kind of land, usually in varying sized plots but not always. I specially like villages that have a school and the kids join in. It's so good for them to learn how to garden.

Dominic Rivron said...

Thanks for these comments.

S and L: Yes. Feel free to come and have a look.

George: Eclectic. A word I had not thought of applying to it, but you're right.

GS: Thank you.

M McC: Thank you. Perhaps we could start an online open garden trend.

RF: Thank you. Have you not got a down under garden? A few people round here who like growing things and haven't got gardens have "borrowed" bits of land to garden and grow veg on.

WG: It gets less of an effort every year. Gardens make you feel good and I find visiting other gardens (e.g., NT ones) an inspiration to keep going with it.

JW: Sadly, there is no longer a school here. No shop, either. I'm a great fan of little schools.

Rachel Fenton said...

I have a garden here but the sub-tropical climate means the weeds grow faster than I can dig them out - and the bugs are HUGE. There are lots of cicada grubs in our soil and I don't like to disturb them. They look like aliens. And Slater spiders...and the soil is very poor - near solid clay...and buttercups everywhere...I could go on.

My UK garden took me two years to get the upper hand of but it was a perrenial dream!

Moan and homesickness over. Moving on...

Alan Burnett said...

You must be a little less soaked up your way than down here in the Calder Valley. Here you would need a small boat to navigate many of the gardens.

Dominic Rivron said...

Thanks for these comments.

RF: Couldn't you garden in pots, using compost? Ground remains undisturbed. Some of our garden is "potted", the pots standing on gravel that has been in turn laid on ground cover (old large polythene bags, etc.)

AB: A little less soaked. We did have the road turns into a river experience, just, the other day, but otherwise, it's rained but we've been OK on the flood front. The Ure in Wensleydale is a magnificent sight after heavy rain. Further up, near Aysgarth, it expands to fill the valley bottom. It takes on positively continental proportions! The Swale can be quite a sight, too.

Murr Brewster said...

No, I am admiring the rampant rambunction of the rose on the wall, and all the rest, but it's the stone work I am riveted to. I think I have a Norwegian 14th-century stone house-in-a-fjord in my chromosomes. Do you live in a stone house?

Do you take house guests?

A Cuban In London said...

Yes, I know the feeling of having a partner who's a keen gardener but not being a great enthusiast yourself. My contribution to our garden is lawn-mowing duties, which acts as a therapeutic outlet against stress.

Hmmm... grass or concrete? If it were down to me... :-)

Greetings from London.

Gwil W said...

"Get into gardening or concrete over"

Dominic, I don't believe you said that. What's wrong with letting nature get on with its own gardening and just keeping things in trim here and there - you know a bit of a tidy up here and there and a green path so you can get yourself through the place and find the back gate. Now you may enjoy the butterflies, squirrels, and birds being overjoyed at the sight of your new nature reserve and all the promise it holds.

Dominic Rivron said...

Thanks for these comments.

Murr: The outer shell of the house is stone, but it's not a particularly old house (40 years?) People are surprised to hear how new it is.

Cuban: Trouble is, gardeners don't seem to count mowing the lawn as "gardening".

Since I've taken to wandering round other, bigger gardens (National Trust and suchlike) I feel a bit more positive about the whole business.

Dominic Rivron said...

Gwil W: I tend to agree. However, there are powerful forces at work which like to see order imposed on potential chaos. :)

Friko said...

Hi Dominic,

Garden Open makes one finally get down to those neglected corners that rarely see a hoe or hand trowel. I even clean the area round the compost heaps for the open weekend.

Sometimes I resent that I have to work so hard in the teeth of our rotten weather, but when it's all over I am usually very pleased with the result. When it all looks cared for and abundant with growth there is something satisfying about it. Ours is always for charity, so it's an even more selfless undertaking, although I am not too sure about the selfless bit.

I will follow you again and hope you will feel 'obliged' to do the same for me.

Dominic Rivron said...

Friko: It's the great thing isn't it, the deadline? You've made me realize that the trouble with gardening for me is the absence of deadlines - things can always be put off another day. Not so with Open Gardens (ours are usually done to raise money for the local Air Ambulance).

I've tried to become a follower of your blog today - but it told me to try again later! I will.

hyperCRYPTICal said...

What a beautiful garden - mine (temporarily) has been returned to nature... (never - well nearly never - off work on a rain-free day when I could cut the grass...)

Love the scarecrow! He looks so damned happy and relaxed.

Anna :o]

GOAT said...

Great garden, Dominic. I'm very envious. I'd love having that much space of my own to play with - sadly, that's one of the sacrifices I have to make with my peripatetic lifestyle, though in my twenties and thirties I made some spectacular gardens, and always in rented properties, without permission!

Dominic Rivron said...

hyperCRYPTICal: He is. He's been sat in a rocking chair in the living room ever since last week and hasn't even offered to do the washing up.

GOAT: I suppose being peripatetic -looked at from the "half full cup" point of view- means the whole world is your garden. Judging by the photos of your walks I would say this is pretty likely to be true. And at least you don't have to weed and mow the lawn. :)