My Open Garden Day…..

Gently rounded, honey-brown and dappled by the sun, but with a slightly fragile outer shell…. something has happened to me!  I have finally become just like a Burford Brown hen’s egg! This is no surprise because during the month before my garden open day, scrambled eggs was all I had time to cook and eat as I worked outside in the sunshine from very early morning until dusk.

Tending a garden is a joyous occupation, but opening it up for others to visit when people are paying an entrance fee and where the proceeds are donated to a charity requires a garden where things are just a little bit special. But would it be good enough? Would people mind the moss and daisies in my lawn, the weeds, the fact that some of my house is in a state of disrepair? But you know what? No one minded. And as the people wandered around and looked they felt welcome and at ease and I saw my new friends sitting on the bench under the crab apple tree, in the summer house and in the cottage garden.  The sun shone on us all and on my tomato print dress (purchased from one of the big supermarkets at a bargain price) and we all celebrated our love of nature and gardens together. It was a truly happy and special day.

Would you like to take a little walk with me and see the (unfinished) Bug Hotel, the vegetables and the flowers? I will open the gate for you so that you can have a little wander and rest a while in the garden.




38 thoughts on “My Open Garden Day…..

    • Thank you so much! The weather has been so bad recently though, with strong winds and rain and it no longer looks quite like the photos! It is amazing how quickly it will pick up though once the sun returns. I read that in California people are spraying their lawns green because they have such little water. That is a bigger and more worrying problem than having too much…I know.

  1. You are such a clever gardener….I was so sorry to have missed your open day.The photos are amazing and I’m sure that you can now relax and enjoy all the fruits of your hard work…well done. M x


    • Thank you so much Melody. The bad weather has changed the garden so much already as the flowers will not bloom without the sun. It was good to have the pressure of the opening because I finished so many things that I had been saying I was going to finish for years! Its a little like tidying up the house when someone is coming round! I so wish that I was not so untidy. K x

  2. What a very beautiful garden Karen. A lot of hard work certainly gives a lot of pleasure. You must be very proud!

  3. Oh my-breathtaking + how I wish I could wander around in your garden:-) cool offer under a tree and just soak up all that beauty! I would say it looks pretty darn perfect to me:-) Funny how we get so obsessive about our gardens. People look at the flowers:-) I was so worried I started getting my nemesis -“creeping Charlie/Jenny” which ever you call it in my frontyard beds. I was so upset and wanted to just tear it out ( my garden) and my husband said, ” Do you think people look at the grass?” -lol. He is right =when in bloom they are not looking at their feet or the grass!
    What a blessing you have such a beautiful place to nurture your soul:-) Pure Joy the tour!

    • Oh you are so kind! I feel exactly the same way about your garden, it hits all the right buttons for me. You are right of course that people don’t see every little weed. Wish I could visit your garden, to me it is a total paradise. And yes, I do think our gardens are full of soul. I am still reading the Chiltern Seed catalogue online every night when I get into bed. My wish list is huge. Have to confess that I have never done the ‘cold stratify; thing yet. Have you? x

      • I did this winter. It really is easy if you remember the dates:-) I messed up on a few:-( Did not take them out at the right time or keep them well watered.
        I used “coir” and that seemed to work well for me this year. I had the dates on each packet and when I put them in the fridge. I checked on them when they were ready and put them in the trays and I got flowers:-) I was so surprised:-) Here is a great site that shows you how to do it if you are interested in doing cold stratification etc…
        I may try putting them in trays this year to see if that works better outside for cold stratification. Some people have good luck with that:-)
        I felt “empowered” when I had success with some of mine for in the past, I did not. This year, I really tried to keep them to the date and most of them worked:-) It is so exciting when you have them blooming later in the summer and think-I raised them from a seed! LOL

      • Thank you so much for this! You are doing great things and thanks to you I am going to try too. I was concerned because a lot of the seeds on the Chiltern site need this special treatment. I usually hate the Winter because I lose touch with the garden, but this year I am going to be learning how to cold stratify! I will check out the link….exciting times ahead Robbie! x x

      • sure are-Karen:-) I want to add some more to my small city garden but have to be careful I leave some room to live for me-LOL- Love flowers!

  4. And what a beautiful day it was……………your hard work shone through – you have created such a special and healing space that perfectly reflects who you are – I could see it all from the kitchen sink!! xx

    • Yes, it was somewhat ironic that one of the best flower growers I know should have ended up on that day not in the garden, but as the catering manager! You did wonders with 4 mugs and 1 tea towel! Its no wonder you went AWOL! I was so honoured that you came all the way to spend the day with me. You are simply the best- a perfect friend with flowers in her heart. x x

  5. Beautiful!! I want to sit and relax in that garden! So inspiring! I live close to the ocean in California and my soul is soooo sandy it’s hard to keep nutrients in so the plants can absorb them properly. It’s very frustrating as I look at my depleted plants 😞 I have garden envy when looking at your lush vibrant garden!!

    • Thank you so much for your kind words. Devon, the county I live in is always green and lush because it is so wet here. This can be a little depressing at times. I, on the other hand feel that with a bit of practice I could be a Californian beach babe! But, yes, I would hate not to be able to grow there. I have a friend in Cornwall who has great views of the sea, but like you, nothing much will grow. Thank you so much for writing.

  6. I can see all the hard work that you have put in… and what a beautiful result. I hope that you haven’t been blown away in recent days. It’s been horrible weather here and I am so enjoying having my indoor growing space just a door away… I just wish my plants were as lovely as yours!

    • The garden no longer looks quite like the photos 😦 ..but that is only to be expected after this bad weather. The wind has blown branches from trees and I fear that I may have lost my Cauliflowers which were rocked one way then another by the wind. Thank you for thinking my garden looked so nice. My Pumpkins are good because I followed your advice to plant in the compost heap. I am so pleased to hear that you are happy in your new space.

      • You are the Queen of the Courgettes usually and I know how expert you have become at coping with a glut!. You are right, next year will be so good….you will have all Winter to make your planting plan!

      • I have a couple of very small courgette plants in the garden now and I’ve planted a few seeds in pots in the limery in the hope of at least a small late crop… I’m always optimistic!

  7. I love that egg metaphor you opened your post with! So perfect! You were very brave to take the chance of letting others wander through your garden and it paid off so well! It all looks so fabulous and you got to share it with people who really appreciated it!

    • Thanks Kerry. I love the challenge of writing almost as much as the gardening. It was such a lovely day and it was the last real sunny one too. It started to rain the very next day and it is only just thinking about stopping now 😦

  8. Your garden is DIVINE! You have put SO much work and love into it – if only I could stop by with a bottle of wine to toast all your incredible efforts! 🙂

    • You would be so welcome! I am so glad you like it and I would LOVE it if you stopped by. But I have to tell you that even from a distance, your support, along with that of my other blogger friends, means so much ..x

  9. Your garden is truly beautiful and so neat and tidy Karen. I love your bug house. Well done for opening up to let everyone see how things grow in your garden.

      • It really is! Now, at the moment, there are still 5 Jerusalem artichoke bushes & with the 1st one, we had 5 kg harvest! Ooh yes! There are still 2 Chinese cabbages, sort of growing under the netting & I still have 1 tatsoi cabbage waiting for me. There are still 2 large Black kale plants that keep on giving us many tasty big & smaller leaves! Ooh yes! x

      • I have never grown Jerusalem Artichokes or the black Kale. I really love the Kale though and have a fabulous recipe for cooking it with a chicken which gets basted with smoked paprika and is very slowly cooked. I think you are vegetarian though aren’t you Sophie ?Sorry, I did not mean to be insensitive mentioning the chicken 😐 x

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