Garden Blog - Blog Post

The Three Day Warning


I thought I might be able to just squeeze in a sub-week warning post as it seems things have gone from the sublime to the ridiculous.

Trying to establish a border in three days

For example, I’ll tell you right now that the best time to start concreting a high foot-traffic area is 72 hours before Open Day. While waiting for that concrete to dry, perhaps a more “normal” activity like repairing a cavity in the pergola before fitting the final rafter might be an idea. If getting up a ladder is too much, then you can try a border redesign.

Sharp edging on the Rectangle

When the hysteria around Open Day is getting a little too much, then a trip out to the local garden centre to panic-buy anything with leaves is in order. After bringing those carefully considered purchases home, it’s time to try fitting them into the garden, meaning you’ll have to move whatever’s already planted there first, before the “latest new thing” can go in. I like to buy once but plant twice.

Just make sure to keep the soil looking messy, so it doesn’t scream, “I woz planted 24 hrs ago”.

Let’s hope it’s quick-drying

I must admit that I never would have anticipated the range of jobs needed to get ready for the first Open Day. All those niggling little 5-minute jobs that I’ve put off (for years in some cases) all suddenly come to the fore. I’m mixing concrete one minute, up a ladder the next, then down at ground level with the grass shears, edging the borders.

On top of it all I’m trying to present a calm response to those asking if I am ready. At this point I wouldn’t even know the meaning of the word.

The Armillary Sphere looking stunning

Tomorrow is the “contingency day”, the one day I kept as a spare for those “unforeseen items”. I already have a list that I’ll work through and it’s not looking too terrible. It’s just a series of tiny little fixes, it might only take me half a day to get through them all. Some of the jobs on the list are as simple as moving a pot from here to there. I can handle that. That’s probably all I can handle at this stage.

Up the ladder to fix the pergola

After contingency day, time’s up in the garden and I have to be back inside to start all the baking. The garden is only half the reason why visitors come, the other half is for what comes from mixing together copious quantities of fat, carbs and sugar, and baking it all in the oven.

I feel more prepared for the baking as I’ve done catering quantity cake before and I already have the recipes written down and went through a trial run last year and it’s all entirely predictable.

You never know though. Anything could happen in the next 72 hours.

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author & gardener

Sunil Patel

I'm Sunil Patel, this is me. I created the Garden at 13 Broom Acres and I open it to visitors. I also bake and write blog posts giving a "behind the scenes" look into what it's like to maintain such a garden.

Visit the blog, then come and visit the garden. We can have a good sit-down, a jolly chinwag and a relaxing cup of tea with a sinfully generous slice of home made cake.

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Linda 18/05/2023 - 12:19 pm

Best of luck!

Sunil 18/05/2023 - 8:07 pm

Thanks Linda 🙂

Wendy 18/05/2023 - 1:32 pm

At least you have retained your sense of humour, or is it wry irony? Honestly, I think the huge cake bake would worry me more than the state of the garden. If the pictures you are posting are anything to go by your visitors are in for a very enjoyable visit. Look at it this way – these open days have forced you to do all those little jobs that usually never get done. You are way ahead with that list! I hope you can enjoy the day as well once it gets underway. I’m now looking forward to the ‘after’ report. All the best.

Sunil 18/05/2023 - 8:10 pm

It’s probably cynicism at this stage. I’m absolutely fine for the cake. I already have all the ingredients for the different sponges and fillings measured out and ready to mix. It’ll be a doddle and yes – I’m fully aware that I just jinxed the whole operation. At least the concrete has dried. You’re right about being forced to do all those little jobs that – for some reason – you never got around to doing even years after. I didn’t expect that to be such a plus point! That in itself is almost worth the effort!


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