30 Jun 2014

An Open Gardens event



I'm a garden lover, but no expert when it comes to gardening so it's always good to have the opportunity to see other residential gardens and talk to the owners and learn from other enthusiasts.  The UK Open Gardens Directory is a resource for anyone wanting to visit private gardens as it gives all the information of dates and times for each county. It's also useful for a gardening group to advertise an event. Many small garden owners generously take part usually in connection with a village or town event and raise funds for some local project at the same time. When the weather is changeable and there are heavy rain showers it's disappointing for the organisers of any open air Summer event.  Sunday was the better day of this weekend so we decided to see at least some of the open gardens in one of the villages on the outskirts of north Sheffield. The Ecclesfield 'Open Garden Event' had been organised by the parish church and the tickets for a small amount were available there so that's where we went first and stopped for refreshments before starting a tour of as many gardens as we could manage since they were in different parts of the village.


Some kneelers in the church and below a garden themed display



A memorial stained glass window has a series of panels depicting the parables of Nature.
                                                             
                                                             


The area around the church has a large grassy and leafy area.  Above is an elaborate former drinking fountain planted out now with bedding plants.

The village stocks


Ecclesfield Priory and the adjoining Ecclesfield Hall - click for more information



We walked to the gardens nearest the church first as the clouds looked as if they were about to bring some more rain our way.  Farmland surrounds much of the village and I imagine it's a pleasant place to live.




I've been on the lookout at the garden centres for a white climbing rose.  Isn't this one a beautiful sight climbing up and over this tree trunk?


All the village gardens looked good even if they weren't open to the public.
Below are some corners of gardens we visited. They were all very different in size and style, but we appreciated each one and the fact that we could visit them.








However, we were also interested in the Community Garden which has been transformed by volunteers from a derelict site adjoining the park, opened in 2012 and now 'enables local people of any age or ability to grow plants in an informal, social and safe environment'. (Information taken from the Community Garden leaflet).


There are raised beds made from treated railway sleepers and filled with local reclaimed soil and organic compost. All plants are grown organically. Produce is sold to local residents and at events to be reinvested in the next season's planting.  Many other plants and equipment have been donated to the project.  There's an outdoor classroom pavilion made by a local firm using local material. Wildflowers have been planted on the membrane roof and rainwater is collected in water butts.



In the orchard area fruit trees were planted in 2013/14 by the Community Group, Forestry Ranger and local children. Here there's a wild flower meadow. Poppies have been planted to commemorate the First World War. On the edge of this area are soft fruit bushes.




Local school children and youth groups have been working on some of the raised beds and containers such as this one (above).



The herb garden was planted up this year.


The garden is self sufficient in providing compost for the Community Garden produced from garden and from household waste brought in by residents, horse manure and leaves from the adjoining park.  It all looks very organised and well worth the visit and chat with some of the volunteers.



26 comments:

  1. Hello Linda:

    We are so pleased that, as far as we are able to judge, the rain held off for your garden visiting at the weekend. Looking at other people's gardens is always a good way in which to glean ideas and, on occasion, one can come away totally inspired. The Community Garden which you show here looks to be most interesting and is such a splendid way of drawing people together.

    For many, many years our own garden in Herefordshire was open under the NGS for Macmillan Nurses and so we know only too well how appreciative are garden owners for the support of the visiting public.

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    1. Thank you Jane and Lance for your visit to my blog. Yes, the rain did hold off and I shall be interested to know the outcome of the funds raised for this event and the results of a children's competition in the Community Garden to design and make a miniature garden. These events are so enjoyable for visitor and visited alike as we share and support each other as gardeners. I'm only sorry I couldn't share more garden views. However, I wanted to respect owners' privacy since they were good enough to allow us into their home and garden and I hope that I've done that.

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  2. I love that church and the way it looks behind the stocks. looks like they were nice enough to give them a bench to sit on while they were there.. the gardens are beyond magnificent. so many beautiful plants and flowers. i would be in snapper heaven and you would have to drag me away

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    1. Sandra - thanks for your observation about the seat for the unfortunates who had to sit and be locked up in the stocks - makes you think doesn't it? Anyway, the gardens were beautiful - each one so different and it was an enjoyable afternoon visiting this village.

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  3. What a fantastic visit and selection of gardens Linda, they are all so lovely and so many things to see as well. The community garden looks as though it is doing really well, and is very well cared for and tended and laid out as well. The bug hotel is fantastic isn't it, there should be lots of different visitors staying there and helping to care for the garden and keeping the nasties at bay. The kneelers in the church were lovely, and so beautifully worked as well! xx

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  4. My comment got eaten! Anyway, a beautiful visit, lots of lovely things to see, great community garden, love the bug hotel, and the kneelers in the church. Sorry, that is the short version in case this gets eaten again! xx

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    1. Amy - Thank you for both your comments. I always admire community group volunteers. I know they do voluntary work because they enjoy it and it's rewarding, but it can be hard work as well. I thought you would appreciate the needlepoint kneelers, Amy.

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  5. Hi There, We are home from a trip to the gorgeous West VA mountains --where we celebrated our anniversary... I'll be blogging about this time for awhile --since it was so special.

    Love seeing the gardens... I am like you in that I can NEVER get enough of seeing all kinds of gorgeous gardens.... Thanks for sharing.

    Hugs,
    Betsy

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    1. Betsy - I'm sure you and George must have had a wonderful anniversary celebration trip in a mountain setting that you love so much. Now you'll be enjoying all those lovely roses, lilies and other beautiful flowers in your own garden.

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  6. I do like these community gardens that are springing up all over the place with their raised beds, a wonderful way to introduce children to growing flowers, fruit and vegetables.
    Lots of things to admire here - the first photo of the lobelia which I always love to see, a simple little blue flower but its electric blue always adds something extra to a garden.
    The multi storey insect home is good fun, and I do like the stone water fountain surrounded by lavender and roses.

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    1. I thought this particular community garden was doing really well. One of the volunteers told us that the schoolchildren really look forward to coming down and contributing to the different aspects of it. Lavender and roses are favourites in a Summer garden. Talking about bright blue flowers I managed to rescue two Morning Glory seedlings from being eaten by slugs and now I'm waiting for them to grow and flower!

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  7. I wish we had such a widespread program as your NGS here -- I just love to be able to visit other people's gardens! We do have one annual garden tour day here locally - but unfortunately this year we're having our own garden party the same afternoon, so I'll have to miss it. :-( Thanks for sharing your own garden tour with us! -Beth

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    1. Beth - I hope your garden party goes well and it will be an occasion to show your guests your lovely garden, the plans you have for it and perhaps talk about the interesting history of your house.

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  8. What a delightful tour of gardens and beautiful countryside. I love that field of poppies. Does it rain there all the time to keep everything so green? It's been raining here a lot this summer and everything is humid and sticky. I was wondering if this is what it is like to live in England, but I imagine you don't get the oppressive heat and humidity that we do.
    Cindy

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    1. Cindy - it doesn't rain all the time, but the weather can change quite quickly and might vary from region to region.

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  9. Marvelous post Linda and a delightful time spent looking around these beautiful gardens. Your first sentence could have been describing me by the way. Gorgeous photos that brought everything alive.

    We are back after our month long trip to Europe. We woke up in Oslo yesterday morning and went to sleep in our own beds last night. We all agreed it was a fantastic trip but so good to be back home. This vacation was for all of us but mainly for my 93 year old father-in-law who attended the 70th D-Day Commemoration Ceremonies in Normandy and then traced his roots from four generations ago in Norway. We also visited Devonshire, a place very dear to my heart and where I lived for many, many years before moving to America. I will be sharing lots of photos and stories in the days ahead, and will try to get some photos on my blog towards the end of the day. Meanwhile, loving visiting again :)

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    1. Denise - welcome back! I'm looking forward to hearing about your time away in Normandy, Norway and England after you've had a good rest from your flight.

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  10. These open garden events are such a good idea, as is the NGS scheme, it's lovely to be able to wander around private gardens. You can learn so much from amateur gardeners, especially if the garden is near where you live as they'll probably be gardening with the same conditions as yourself. The community garden looks to be very well cared for, there must be plenty of people wanting to join in on the action, what a great project.

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  11. Talking to other gardeners is a good way to learn and exchange information. Some of the private gardens on our tour were being established and others were mature so we heard about each owner's gardening experience which was also interesting.

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  12. There is so much to be learnt from open gardens, I often come away greatly inspired. By virtue of scale they are often more achievable than the large public spaces that we usually get to see. The ones in your photographs look lovely.

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    1. Jessica - the Open Garden Scheme is a great opportunity to visit neighbourhood and community gardens and chat with others who enjoy gardening. Exchanging ideas with other bloggers is another way to learn and be inspired. And we all have one thing in common even if climate and soil conditions are different in each area and country - dealing with those bugs and slugs!

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  13. From the blue in the first photo, which is stunning, to the gardens in between, oh everything is beautiful.
    My church is very simple, but I still love needlepoint kneelers in other churches. The white climbing rose
    is also quite lovely. Thanks once again for the beautiful shares.

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    1. Thank you Marilyn. I know you love your roses and you have a lovely garden. I believe the Portland Rose Festival is on in your State this month and I hope you get there this year and can share a post about the event.

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  14. I did enjoy this. The kneelers are gorgeous and I was fascinated by the stocks, they look just like mine!
    That pic of the poppy field is so lovely and I did like the climbing rose, I have a white one and can't wait for it to grow.
    How lovely to be able to visit local gardens, I love to see what other people are growing. The community garden is great, how good to see a wasteland transformed and producing food for people and insects.xxx

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  15. What a lovely, interesting post, Linda. Your photos are super, from the splendid church through the beautiful gardens to that fascinating and impressive Community Garden. I love visiting gardens under the Open Garden scheme, but my imagination has really been caught by the vision and dedication of those volunteers who have created the Community Garden.

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