I had a busy week in the garden getting ready for our open garden with quilt and needlework show. By Thursday I ‘just’ had the front garden left to sort, I say ‘just’ as it was knee high in weeds!!
Typically Thursday was heatwave day, I think it is now officially the hottest day on record, it was certainly well into the the 30’s – not ideal weather for gardening! Luckily the front garden is mainly in the shade for most of the morning, so I started early, like about 7.30am, and set too clearing thistles, marestail and bindweed, together with the usual spread of annual weeds. This was mainly superficial weeding, it just made the garden look better, but whilst I know it doesn’t solve any problems it does make me feel better once in a while! I worked so hard I believed my watch when it said it was 2.45pm, I carried on til 5pm, went inside for a cup of tea and eventually realised my watch had broken and it was actually only 1.30!! At least it meant I had a bit of time to clean the house as well!!
I weed with one tonne builders bags, I filled 2 1/2 of them that morning!! I have had another suggestion from a visitor over the weekend of how to eradicate marestail though, so fingers crossed!
Having had a scorching day on Thursday, by Saturday when I opened the garden it was about 12 degrees and raining – typical British weather, inconsistent!!
It rained pretty heavily all day, but hardy friends and family came, luckily I had the quilts and needlework for them to look at too. I had about 12 quilts to show and lots of needlework, I displayed my wedding dress, Helen’s Christening gown, all sorts of things. As I pointed out to people who commented on the volume of work, there was over 40 years of work on display, from an embroidery I did when I was 7 years old to the quilt I finished last week.
Sunday was much better, whilst it wasn’t sunny, it didn’t rain til after 4pm when we finished. We had a steady trickle of people, neighbours, Embroiderers Guild or WI members, work colleagues. It was nice as on the whole I just had time to wander round a bit with someone before the next one’s arrived. Everyone was amazed by my big hosta which has hardly a nibble out of it!
A few flowers came out just in time for the garden opening, crocosmia Lucifer was looking good, but also this giant of a flower behind the summerhouse. I tend to think of this area as my wild bit and this inula certainly looks a bit wild, it’s so big it’s visible from the other side of the summerhouse too!
The alstromeria and the crocosmia added a nice bit of sunshine to the Amber & Amethyst garden
I made lots of cake ; coffee, elderflower & lemon, coconut & lime, blueberry, apple, mincemeat, carrot, lemon drizzle and Victoria sponge!
All in all it was a successful weekend, we raised £170 for the Soldiers Charity, which considering the weather, I think was pretty good.
It was nice being able to make suggestions to help others with their gardens, one of the neighbours asked how I cope with the heavy clay soil; lots of pea shingle and compost, I used to buy a couple of tonnes each year to dig in. I also said if I find a plant that likes our conditions I buy one in every colour! So I have several astrantias, geraniums, osmanthus, brunnera…
If I say so myself, my clematis climbing the arch down by the patio looked magnificent!
The most admired plant was actually a shrub called Sambuscus Nigra, a black elderflower, it’s actually dead easy to grow and needs a hard prune each year to stop it taking over! The lilies in front opened as the day progressed, they’re beautiful colour, I’m tempted to plant them in a bed in the Amber & Amethyst garden in the autumn.
I think taking people round also made my OH see the garden in a whole new light!