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Open Garden Sunday 2011- A Review!


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Open Garden Sunday 2011- A Review!

One of last year's wonderful gardens.

As Open Gardens Sunday comes round again, I thought Id write about last year's fantastic event. It really was a lovely day and I heartily congratulate the people who took part last year. Last time there were 12 gardens open, all across Hither Green but mostly on the HG Lane side of the railway. 

One of my favourite was a walled garden (see top photo) where almost every inch of wall space was covered with a fantastic collection of climbers- there were multiple varieties honeysuckles, clematis, roses and ivies... LOVED IT!

I love Open Gardens! It gives the ordinary gardener the chance to see other regular gardens- afterall not everyone has acres to work with! Wandering around looking at other gardening styles is so enriching. You soon lose the 'Oh their leeks/ /courgettes/ toms are better than mine!' and start appreciating the sheer diversity and creativty of your fellow gardeners. 

Last summer we also went to  Kentchurch Court  on the Herefordshire/ Monmouthshire border, although this is a large historic country house with woodland walks and a deer park, we were also able to visit the gardener's own small cottage garden which was just beautiful. I took so many photos for inspiration.

Anyway, I digress! Back to Open Garden Sunday in Hither Green!

Vive la difference!

There was a nice mix of newer gardens and more mature established gardens - some with 30years+ of cultivation. Some were expansive with room for long lawns and borders, and others were heavily shaded by mature trees. The difference in terrain, soil and planting conditions within just a few streets was remarkable! 

There were gardens with aviaries and apiaries (see Fran Purdy's photo above), chickens, ponds...

There were sculptures and *perfect* social spaces with beautifully designed dinning/ and enteraining areas...

There were lawns,  terraces, balconies, raised decks, flower gardens and regimented kitchen gardens- the sheer variety was wonderful!. 

Shed Envy!

Another thing I discovered last year- Im lagging WAY behind in the shed stakes! Hither Green is resplendent with sumptuous shed-palaces! There are chalets and log cabins, elegant summer houses tricked out with sofas and electricity (straight out of Homes and Gardens!) I was in awe!I only keep the mower in mine!

But my absolute favourite shed was small but beautiful. The owners were growing 5 square feet of garlic in raised beds up on the roof.  The beds were accessed by ladder and had an automatic watering system- possibly the best thing I saw all day! 

A Shared Enthusiam

Most memorable of all from the day was seeing the enthusiasm of regular people talking about much how their garden has changed over the years, and musing on their future projects. I could absolutely appreciate their achievements and understand the work that had gone into producing such beautiful spaces because I garden on the same heavy Hither Green clay soil!

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05:20 PM on February 25, 2012 

Great post! I'll try and get down there with the family this year.

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