Has anyone seen Karen?

May in the garden 2016 007 (2)

Friends and neighbours fear that I am being held hostage or have been kidnapped! No one has seen or heard from me for months. But the truckloads of wood, sand, cement, picket fencing and old Victorian ridge tiles piling up in my drive all tell another story and the real reason for my absence; I have been building a new garden 🙂

This is my first year of opening my garden for the National Gardens Scheme.

The National Gardens Scheme (NGS) is the Country’s biggest charitable benefactor to the nursing and caring sectors including, amongst others, The Queen’s Nursing Institute, We Are Macmillan Cancer Support and  Marie Curie. Founded in 1927, when 60 gardens opened for nursing and caring charities and raised a total of £8,000, to 2015 when 3,800 gardens raised more than £3 million, the NGS is a constant and vital source of support for the nominated Charities.  All this is only made possible by gardeners who volunteer  their time and effort to open their private gardens for visitors to enjoy.

Each garden must reach a high standard of content and design to be accepted into the NGS. Mine was inspected by a professional garden designer and I was proud to join a charitable organisation which boasts many large and famous gardens, as well as smaller ones in its iconic yellow book. And with H.R.H The Prince of Wales as the patron and Mary Berry as the President, who would not be a little bit thrilled to have earned NGS status?

Now my garden was deemed good enough a year ago when I was welcomed to the NGS. But It was so, so hard not to want to try a little bit harder to make it even more special for my open days. Especially when people are travelling some distance to visit and are paying an entrance fee.

So  I have made a new garden. A Cutting Garden to add to the Kitchen, Cottage and Meadow Gardens .It is quite small, but with its picket fencing and Bishop’s and bird finials, rows of flowers for cutting, an old wrought iron gate and a sweet painted arbour, it is such a special and safe place to be.

Run up to open day 2016 086 (2)

Run up to open day 2016 093 (2)

Inside it has a zinc- topped table for bunching the cut flowers which I sell at my gate.

Run up to open day 2016 088 (2)

So if it stops raining and the Powdery Mildew goes away together with the Black Fly and the wind and then the sun comes out to make my flowers bloom…. then everything will be fine 🙂 And when that happens, I will take some better photos of the flowers for you to see.

But until then….why not take a moments rest in the Cutting Garden arbour?

Run up to open day 2016 096 (2)




28 thoughts on “Has anyone seen Karen?

  1. This is beautiful Karen. And congratulations; I can only guess how much love and creativity and sheer hard work has gone into this. I used to be amazed at how much money could be raised through people’s curiosity about others’ gardens; now I can see the attraction, and I think it is a wonderful way to raise money for charities. That the services provided should be reliant on charity is another matter, and doesn’t detract from the huge debt of thanks that is owed to volunteers.

  2. I opened for another organisation last year and people were amazed to discover that I had a garden at all! They really had no idea ( especially as my front garden was very uninteresting). The stress of it has been worse than I anticipated. And nature seems to be throwing up all kinds of problems and diseases which I have never had before. For over two months I was out in the garden from 5 a.m 😦 Even with a garden of my size I reckon I would need two helpers to make it all possible.
    Perhaps I need several husbands…what do you think? 😉

  3. Seeing these photos MORE then explains as to why we haven’t seen very much from you over the last few months. Congratulations on receiving your NGS status – how fabulous! The love, sweat and tears that you must have put into your garden truly shows. Karen, it is absolutely gorgeous. You’ve created the most delightful setting for such an incredible cause. My back is aching in sympathy for you whilst my heart overflows with joy at the beauty you are sharing. Wishing you blue skies and pest free days, Joanne xx

    • Thanks so much for your kind words and praise for my garden Joanne. You would think I would have shed pounds in weight with all this hard work, but since I have built everything myself with my handyman ( my retired village postman) I have worked like a builder and EATEN like a builder:)
      Still raining here, of course! Panic is setting in now….only a week to go 🙂
      Karen x x x

    • Thank you so much…..the rain is challenging the flowers. S I just went out and bought a couple of Rose bushes 🙂
      I love roses….one is called hanky panky!!!!

  4. Well, I knew what you were up to, but I really was hoping everything was going ok. I’m looking forward to seeing pictures of your gardens in all their glory in the wonderful sunshine that is guaranteed for your opening. And then, hopefully, visiting again some time to see them for real.

  5. Some say that a garden is a symbol of paradise and yours surely is. You made a great work, Karen, must be nice to watch it. Keep it up. Regards Mitza

  6. I WAS wondering what had become of you! Now that I see what you’ve been doing, I can understand why you haven’t had time for anything else–what an amazing Eden you’ve created! It sounds like quite an honor to be chosen for the NGS–and you’ve earned it, for sure!

  7. I thought your garden was spectacular before, but you have outdone yourself. It is magnificent!!!! I was mesmerized by the photos. Please post more when you can! Congrats on a job well done.

    • Thank you so much Honey. I really appreciate your interest. I have found the work load a little overwhelming though. I need a few husbands to help out. I reckon at least 4 if I am to keep the garden looking good. 🙂 tee hee!!!

  8. I’m so proud and excited for you Karen! You are constantly stepping out, raising the bar and reinventing yourself! You are such a can do, inovative and capable person! Congratulations! Your garden is amazing, beautiful and so your style! Wonderful!

  9. At first glance, this looks like a pixie’s paradise…just gorgeous! Well done Karen on a beautiful work of ever- evolving art! Best Wishes, Nikki.

  10. Glad to see you are still with us! No shocker that you vanished with such a wonderful task at hand, well worth it from what you’ve shown here.

  11. Karen dear: It’s been MONTHS. Absolutely MONTHS, and it feels like years. Do let us know that you are alive and well so I may stop worrying…. Okay, I’m teasing – a bit – but I do miss your very lovely blog.

    • Dear Cynthia, bless you for your message! Life is throwing so many challenges my way and has been doing so for many months now. It has felt impossible to paint a rosy picture on my blog, which I created to spread happiness and joy. I hope to get back into the swing of things, just as soon as those big waves keep knocking me down again.
      I have had no laptop for sometime…but hope to resolve that soon. So I have lost your email address. I can still access my email through webmail if you ever fancy dropping me a line anytime. I so waould like to hear about you.
      Karen x

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