It’s been a while since the last post and that’s mainly because the second half of the season had several NGS Open Days and private group visits packed in. In fact, we had three events in the space of two weeks in the first half of August (who organised that, eh?).
Now, however, after a final afternoon “do” for the many volunteers that helped us over the course of the season, some on hot days, some in driving rain, the garden is closed for 2023 and the final figures are in:
- £3000+ raised for the NGS, who will distribute it to their beneficiaries
- 10 NGS events (5 Open Days, 5 Private Group Visits)
- 350+ visitors (it’s difficult to keep accurate track of numbers)
- 428 slices of cake served, that’s about 43 cakes
It’s been a busy season and the garden – as well as the cakes – have been admired by many people. We’ve had many lovely comments written in the visitor guest book and I hope those who visited came away with memories of a wonderful afternoon, including for those on days when the weather was particularly adverse and we were serving cake out of the poly-tunnel greenhouse to keep it dry.
There’s no doubt the weather put a dampener on some days, but overall, it’s been a spectacular opening year and while we’re unlikely to put as many Open Days in the calendar for 2024, we’re still looking forward to greeting hungry and curious garden visitors next season.
But just because the NGS season is over doesn’t mean the garden has finished flowering, the cannas at the front are in their “show-stopper” phase, the Gaura in the verge are still flowering, the grass paths are covered with plants spilling out from the borders and the Main border itself is looking an absolute picture – the parts that aren’t gaps, that is.
It’s an odd time of year when the weather can still be amazing, and indeed this week is forecast to be hotter than it has been all summer – though that is a rather low bar admittedly – but I’m itching to start putting things away, tidying up and generally getting the garden ready for autumn and winter. This, when the herbaceous perennials are still in mid-flower and the roses are having their second flush.
I guess it’s because after a summer of very light-touch gardening (it’s essentially been left to run rampant all by itself), I know there is a lot of catch-up and pruning and tidying to do, to get the garden back to a state it can start the next season from. I know it takes a long time and I know that I never quite manage to finish it all before Spring and the garden get underway again.
It could also be because this is the first year I’ve no large projects to finish before the weather turns. In previous years I’ve been racing to get the major outdoor jobs done before it gets too cold and too wet – not so this year. The most I’ve got to do at the moment is to repaint the legs of the bistro table, my goodness, what a workload!
and so ends the first year opening for the NGS, on a fundraiser high, a sugar high and an Indian Summer high. I wouldn’t say, “no” to more of the same.