Open Gardens

” I can do you a Lemon Drizzle cake if you like?” These words are like heaven to my ears at this time of year because it’ll soon be time to open our own garden for the National Gardens Scheme.IMG_20170601_092043_227 (2) IMG_20170527_201529_573 (2)

And I need around 14 cakes of various sorts to feed the hordes of keen gardeners that will descend on us next Sunday 11th June from 12pm until we close at 5pm, exhausted but thrilled at having hopefully raised around £3,000 for charity.DSCN0492[1]

That’s if the garden survives the ravages of Ted, who’s idea of  helpfully ‘watering the garden’ is certainly not mine…….IMG_20170521_131957_106 (2)

But we’re not alone in opening. Five other gardens open with us here in Didsbury on Sunday 11th June, and you can visit all of us for just £6 entrance ( ticket details at the end). Visiting gardens is a great way to get ideas for your own garden- I know, because I do it all the time myself! Here are a few of my gorgeous Roses ( Albertine and The Crocus rose) which will all be in full bloom and scenting the garden next Sunday, as well as a few images from the other gardens opening with me:DSC_0594 (2)DSC_0587 (2)






But all was not going well in the world of NGS open gardens…….. ” It’s all ruined! Ruined! You’ve got to come quickly and see if you can help?” This was the distress call from Carolyn in Chorlton, due to open her garden for the first time in only three weeks time. Anyone opening their garden for the first time is always a bag of nerves- after all, it’s not everyone who has to deal with 300 people tramping through their garden, possibly making judgmental comments. So, I quickly drove round to Caroline’s house to see what the problem was. All was looking lovely at the front with her beautiful vegetable potager and quirky pallet planter:DSC_0551 (2)DSC_0553 (2)DSC_0550 (2)

I found Caroline around the back feeding her composter.DSC_0566 (2) This is a relatively new garden, beautifully planted and a great example of the benefits of  being both organic and passionate recyclers:


” It’s the grass, look at it! It’s ruined! I told him not to use it. and now look at what’s happened!” It turned out that Carolyn’s partner Paul was now in the doghouse having, despite being organic, applied an inorganic weed and feed product to the lawn to green it up. Instead of ‘greening it’ it had actually completely blackened it in patches! ( I do think these chemicals should have a warning on as this sort of damage is always happening).I tried to soothe Carolyn and reassure her that it didn’t look as bad as she thought. The rest of the garden was looking wonderful, with its pretty vegetable potager, billowing herbaceous borders and a quirky pond.DSC_0569 (2)DSC_0583 (2)

There were interesting containers everywhere -ideas to copy?DSC_0577 (2)

I left her still debating whether to leave the lawn to regrow or to patch it with new turf; you can see for yourself what she decides if you visit her on the 17th in Chorlton (details below).

There are also two NGS gardens opening together in Salford on the same day as Caroline, and all of us sell plants and serve refreshments.

Here are the details- so,why not make a day of it?

  1. Didsbury Village Open Gardens- Sunday 11th June, 12-5pm, £6 for all 6 gardens. Tickets on the gate at 68 Brooklawn Drive, M20 3GZ.
  2. Chorlton -Alderbank, 40c Edge Lane, Chorlton M21 9JW. Saturday 17th June 12.30-5pm. £3 single garden.
  3. Salford- 35 Ellesmere Road and 11 Westminster Road, Salford M30 9FE,  Saturday 17th June 12.30-5.30pm. £4 combined admission.DSCN0485[1]

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