I accidentally visited an open garden the other day. It was a happy accident.
I was staying at Peggy’s, for our monthly Texas Hold’em and spam fritter night, and Welsh Ann tipped me off that her friend CJ was opening his garden the following day. It would have been rude not to make the small effort; it is just up the road from Mum’s and, more especially, he has the plant sales of legends. I cleared it with OH, assuring him that all purchases would be for clients’ benefit only (fingers crossed at the time, obvs).
And I was very glad that I popped by. Apart from the obvious purchasing experience, it was joyful to wander the garden alone, appreciating the many and varied aspects of his plot. And it also reminded me of things I needed reminded of.
Analogy alert: If undue and often tenuous comparisons offend you, you should at this point leave the post by one of the designated safety exits.
I’ve been watching the Athletic World Championships/Commonwealth Games/European championships all summer long. The noble competitors train day in, day out, often with little funding or support, whether they are triumphant record holders or the valiant also-rans. And, to my mind they all deserve their moment centre stage.
The same can be said for the many private gardens that pepper our world, tended by fine folk who work relentlessly when sometimes it all seems a hiding to nowhere. They battle contrary weather and non-compliant wildlife. Months in advance they must provide dates for opening to the public, when they hope their gardens will be tiptop, ever at the mercy of the precariousness of the seasons. Still they share their gardens and expose their very souls for criticism. Have I gone too far again? Perhaps, but there is little as personal as offering up your own kingdom, designed and tended over months and years, only for Joe Public to point out a weed. And all this for charity.
What I needed to be reminded of is that we need to support these Open Gardeners, tell them they are great, buy their plants, listen to what they say and be inspired.
So, here we go. CJ you are great, your garden is amazing, your plants happy and healthy, keep on keeping on! I’ll be back. Unless you ban me for harassment, which is a distinct possibility.