Monday 21 July 2008

Nice work if you can get it

Despite the dreary, awful, awful weather the skies finally cleared and I got to enjoy one of my favourite summer traditions yesterday even though I was working. I only discovered Open Garden days a couple of years ago but since then I've searched them out and been to as many round our way as I can get to and they're just the best fun for £3 quid I can think of!

Last weekend was our village's day to throw open the garden gates (these pictures are of Winster not my village btw. I forgot to take my camera - oops!). My lovely friend Helen and I had great plans to get around most of them but, typical for us, we got completely distracted by a chance to go up the church tower, have a go at ringing the bells (brilliant!), a delicious cream tea and then plant shopping. We don't hang about when we haven't got our pushchairs in tow! Such a special day.
Yesterday I was in the beautiful Peak District village of Winster, not far from Matlock, in the garden of one of the trustees of the charity I work for, handing out magazines and leaflets and generally promoting what we do. A's garden surrounds a wonderful old house with soaring views so it hardly felt like work at all. Not many garden pics but here's some of the village looking lovely all decked out in its summer finery.
More cream cakes followed (I think this is as much an Open Garden tradition as the plants - hurrah!) I even managed a bit of thrifting whilst I was on my break - a free hose reel. Ok not very exciting but Woody is about to break his neck on my snake of a hose by the back door so I am now very popular.
There's something so special about the sharing of gardens plants and knowledge. As a novice I really appreciate any help and advice and although I haven't got much to pass on myself yet it's lovely to share plants and disaster stories with my friends and family.
It was fascinating watching people coming and going yesterday and eaves-dropping on their plant passions. Everyone was very polite and even if there are things you wouldn't have yourself I love to see how other gardeners put colour and form together. I learnt such a lot and I've got plenty of ideas for my patch next year.

Finally it looks like the weather is perking up just as the holidays start, thank goodness. Hope everyone is basking in the sunshine.

I've got a couple of thank yous to make for two awards I've been kindly given. Thanks to Dolly Dollop who I really admire for being a breastfeeding mentor (what a brilliant thing to do) for this first one and to Schotzy in America, a prolific and very lyrical blogger with a passion for Scotland. Apologies for taking a while to post about these, life's been a bit chaotic recently and I got a bit behind myself. I've forgotten how many people I'm supposed to tag so I'm going to award both of these to these five bloggers who really make me smile! Thank you for brightening up my day!


Pipany said...

Such pretty pictures Steph. I love these open days though NOT with a pushchair! Well done for having a bit of an escape!!! xx

LinenandRoses said...

Thank you for the award Steph. I feel a bit of a fraud as I have been seriously neglecting the blog lately. Hopefully I will have more time for it once I start my new job. Lovely pictures of the gardens. I love visiting open gardens. Went to a beautiful one the other weekend at an old Farmhouse. We got lots of inspiration and enjoyed the cream teas!

Summer by the sea said...

What lovely summery photos - you are making me yearn for a cream tea now! - Natalie x

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful thing to be able to visit other gardens. It is so lovely!

Sal said...

A lovely day!
I really love visiting gardens ;-)

{oc cottage} said...

What a lot of fun that all sounds like!!!! Thx for sharing it with us!

m ^..^

JuicyFig said...

Don't we have the most glorious gardens in this country, the lovliest cottages, and the freindliest people - plus the best cream teas!


mollycupcakes said...

Thank you so much for the awards Steph,
Your a real sweetie.
Loving the flowers and hearing of cream-teas, aren't they the best?
I just can't say no to them lol
My belly wishes I could though hehe!
Enjoy the rest of the week hun.
Many hugs.
Catherine x

Heidi said...

Good morning Steph, I sat down this morning & read every detail of your last two posts!! First of all, I too absolutely LOVE that adorable painting of that sweet-faced little girl!...Oh so charming!....And then about your day of looking at gardens, buying plants & eating cream cakes!!!!...That is definitely my kind of day!!!....I so love being taken away to such an amazing part of England!!!..Enjoy your day!...Heidi XO

periwinkle said...

Thank you Steph, thats really kind of you :-). Your pics are lovely, what you imagine an old English village to be.
lisa x

Ragged Roses said...

Lovely photos Steph, they seem to sum up everything lovely about this country in the summer. What a beautiful part of the world you live in. We were out visiting gardens on Sunday and I agree with you, it's very special sharing knowledge and plants with other people.

Cottage1945 said...

Hello again! Been awhile since I've visited. Wonderful pictures. Garden walks are such fun.

Cowboys and Custard Mercantile said...

Hello Steph.. this filled my heart with a lovely warm feeling.. The Open Garden schems is something quintessentially British and what we do best in this country.. I love them and it is rather like being a given a key to all these secret kingdoms around our fair land..
I am sure I was in the place with all the bunting in your photo.. in April though it was a different picture then with snow on the ground and bitterly cold.. still very beautiful though!
Have a wonderful hols Steph and much fun with your lovely family..
Michele x

Funkymonkey said...

My first award.....I'm so pleased Steph, thank you. I'll put it on the blog when I can get the computer to myself for more than 10 minutes now that Josh is at home. (He has plans for a big water fight this afternoon!). Love the pictures of all the gardens by the way. Winster looks lovely as usual.

Garden Girl said...

They do loads of open gardens around here as well, but Ive never been, for some reason! I will make an effort next year, especially now I know there are cream teas on offer!x

Unknown said...

Hi Steph, what a fabulous picture of the boys, they do look like they are having great fun. I love open days and country fairs, always so much to see.
Rosie x