Well, it’s only two weeks now until we open the garden to the public under the NGS (National Gardens Scheme) and the pressure is mounting. It is a great honour to be one of 3,700 gardens that open under the scheme through out the year.
The key charities supported by the scheme are Macmillan Cancer Support and Marie Curie Cancer Care, charities that many of us will have contact with at some point in our lives. Since 1927, NGS have raised almost £42 million to support various charities; £25 million in the last 10 years.
By opening our garden, not only do we get the opportunity to help support these charities, but also we get the pleasure of sharing the garden with visitors. We only open one weekend a year as the pressure to get everything looking as good as it possibly can is just too much to do more than once a year.
In reality, the majority of the gardening year is focused on this one weekend. Obviously the gardening jobs happen at different times of the year, be it planting or pruning. However, opening the garden focuses the mind on the maintenance jobs – they just have to be done in time. This weekend, I’ll be giving the path around the pond a spruce up to ensure they are ready to meet the public.
I am lucky that my cottage garden style of gardening lends itself well to opening. The vagaries of our winters means that each year different plants are at their best. Some years, the geraniums are well over, in others (like this one), they are only just getting into their stride. I am currently watching the peony buds swelling by the day and hoping that they will be at their peak in time.
I would be surprised if the roses are in full flower in two weeks, but the vanguard might be in evidence. This year, the early and main season irises look as if they will be flowering together, but there is absolutely no sign of flower yet on the hemerocallis.
The weather forecast for the next week is such that I am being non PC and watering the garden. Luckily I don’t have to do too much as out clay based soil is very good at retaining moisture, but when people are paying to look around, they expect to see the garden at its best.
Whilst the majority of our visitors come to see the garden, each year we have a few who come to meet the dogs. This means that they too must be looking their best. One of the main benefits of showing is that those being shown are pretty under control, but Cerys doesn’t go to shows, so she will have some time on the grooming table between now and then. Oliver is the one who is “on duty” in the garden for most of the day. At times, though it is likely that Ruby and Cerys will put in an appearance.
If you are planning to visit us this year, you will be pleased to know that there are other gardens open on the same days which are only a short drive away, so you can enjoy a whole afternoon visiting gardens in the area. We are located on the eastern edge of the New Forest, Hampshire and would love to meet you on Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th June from 2:00 – 5:00pm. Don’t have too big a lunch, leave space for tea and a piece of cake :). Full opening details may be found on Barhi’s website, on the NGS website and in the Yellow Book, available from all good book sellers.
If you are in the area at other times of the year, we are open by appointment – just contact us using the form below to arrange your visit.