Garden Blog - Blog Post

The Two Week Warning


It’s been another week, it’s also been dry so I’ve managed to continue preparing the garden for its first ever Open Day, due in a fortnight. We’re still mostly overcast and cool and so the seedlings still refuse to get a move-on. I don’t blame them, to be honest, there hasn’t been much sunshine around to get motivated by.

One of those “perfect moments’ in the garden, under the ornamental cherry

On a first glance, not much looks to have changed from the week before but now it’s the details that are starting to shine through. There’s wicker screening wrapped around the bulk bags of the compost heap, hiding their stark white colour and making them blend in. The benches are finally treated and the water runs off them, if not the bird droppings. The various bistro tables and chairs are set out in the garden, the arch where the Kiftsgate rose has gone rampant is now a bit safer. The paths at the back of the garden are tidied up and the grass had its first cut of the year, a few days ago.

There have been countless little jobs like these that individually don’t seem like much, but collectively contribute to the aesthetics, quality and atmosphere of the garden. It’s too late to be making any big, sweeping changes or to start large projects, it’s all about the details now.

The “free with every order” mixed tulips

That’s not to stay there aren’t one or two large jobs that I would really like to complete before opening, but if I was being brutal about it, there are no jobs left on my list that would prevent the garden from opening if they weren’t done. It’s all about quality now, doing work to make the garden look its best. The one disaster we could have is if it was forecast to bucket down with rain on the day, which is something no amount of garden work is able to protect against.

Plants are still very behind compared to last year but the shift into early summer is gradually happening and more are coming into flower, there’s little from the herbaceous perennials but the clematis and iris have fat flower buds and so do the rhododendrons. The Madame Alfred Carrière rose that covers a portion of the back of the house is covered in buds and the visit date should coincide perfectly with its first flush of the year.

Cherry blossom through pergola and over the border

Looking to the week ahead, we’re forecast lots of rain, so it’s going to frustrate my gardening plans, yet again. We’re having an extended “April Showers” and it stopped being funny a while ago. The garden could end up being rather soggy on visit day and I’ll be handing out ponchos and towels instead of tea and cake.

I’m thinking more of on-the-day logistics and supplies too. A call has gone out to my local gardening club to help out on the day and I’ve had several enthusiastic responses. We got cups for cold drinks, napkins and various catering-related nicknacks.

A reminder that the staking for the delphiniums needs to be redone

In summary, we’re far from ready, but we are ready, if that makes any kind of sense at all. I fully expect that after this coming week is over, the “One Week to Go” blog post is going to be utterly incoherent.

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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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Wendy 07/05/2023 - 7:57 pm

That view towards the stone urn is just so delightful and perfect. English garden at its best. Such a great achievement Sunil.

Sunil 09/05/2023 - 3:23 pm

Thanks, Wendy, I must admit, the more I look at that picture, the more I like it. As is the case with ephemeral cherry blossom, it’s almost all gone now, especially with the wind and rain. It will be another year before it looks like that again.


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