Essendon Village Open Gardens

Yesterday I went to a nearby village where every other year some of the residents open their gardens to the public to raise funds for the local parish.    It’s a great example of English eccentricity, some people spend months taking cuttings & potting up plants to sell, others make cakes & do teas, the local pub does a roaring lunch trade, one resident sells her homemade ice cream…… you get the picture, its like a garden themed village fete.

It’s also a really lovely & interesting way to have a nosy at other people’s gardens -from the very tiny cottage garden to the large country house style & all in between, especially on a nice sunny Sunday.

Yesterday was drizzly & not very warm when we arrived, but that was good as it wasn’t busy, & we got first dibs at some of the plant stalls & saw some of the gardens with no one else around.  I think my favourite is the tiny cottage garden that is really a lovely meandering path, surrounded by all manner of plants, some in pots, all crammed in together – it’s fabulous as you can see.       The Hostas are magnificent with slugs being controlled by nematodes. This tiny garden still manages to have a bit of everything & feels very exotic as its so green & leafy, there are little secret seating areas & the owners make great use of placing pots in the borders to fill in any gaps. I am definitely using that trick in my garden.    I like the way this garden has a long border of nepeta (catmint) – it has a similar effect as a lavender hedge but is much easier to keep in check year after year, as lavender tends to get a bit woody & straggly after a while. Those amazing alliums in the foreground are fab but I can’t remember the variety..       Another gardener makes great use of old bits of scrap metal, wood & old pots & pans – I love the idea of a fake fireplace including over mantle mirror. The top picture shows a great bird feeding station using large wooden posts to hang feeders from- you can just about see in the foreground a long piece of metal guttering being used as a feeding trough. This garden also has an amazing pond, seating area & wall of teapots & old kettles all,planted up!     Two examples of plants I really want in my garden but they must be big:) Sambucus Niger (Black Elder) & Euphorbia.

We had a great day being inspired to go home & get stuck into our own gardens, as well as spending a small fortune on plants we probably didn’t need, or in my case that I’d forgotten I already had, (probably bought at the same place two years previously)!!

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