by Terry Tidman from The Round Hill Reporter September 2005
A Blooming Success - participating in The Round Hill Society’s first open gardens event
It was a glorious, sunny afternoon and everyone who had offered to open their garden looked forward to the event with a mixture of excitement and nervous anticipation. Noone knew whether opening up our gardens for the afternoon for other local residents to come and view would be successful, and for the first half hour, it seems that there was very little interest. However, the first visitors arrived at half past two and then there was a steady flow until we finally shut our doors at five o’clock.
I recorded nearly one hundred people visiting our garden and it was interesting to talk to them and share ‘garden know-how’. There seemed to be a great sense of community throughout the afternoon and it was good to be able to chat to those with whom we had previously only had a nodding acquaintance. Encouraging comments were received and we were only too sorry that our knowledge of plant names was sadly lacking.
The Round Hill Society committee would like to hear any comments or suggestions about repeating the event another year. Perhaps other people might be encouraged to volunteer their gardens; we might be able to organise a themed quiz or treasure hunt for children; refreshments could be sold in aid of a local charity.
When I look at my garden a month later, there have been significant changes in the plant life and marigolds and roses have given way to cosmos, sweet peas and nasturtiums. The runner beans are in full flower and squash plants are starting to go berserk. Maybe another open garden event could be staged later in the year to reflect the subtle changes of the season.
Thanks are due to all those who offered their gardens, as well as those who trod the trail! It was wonderful to view our local area from another perspective.
See also: Picture gallery
of the Round Hill Open Gardens event held in June 2005.
"We have just spent a delightful afternoon wandering the gardens of Round Hill. I’m sure we are not alone in wanting to thank everyone who kindly welcomed us into their homes and gardens.
Being flat dwellers with access only to a communal garden, it was a real treat to explore and absorb the diverse sights, smells, sounds and textures of some beautiful gardens, all of which reflected not only hard work and commitment, but imagination and loving care.
We ended our afternoon feeling relaxed, restored and inspired – and in the case of one special garden in particular (58 Richmond Road), a little over-awed; we had no idea we lived just across the road from such an amazing oasis for wildlife. In the city in particular, gardens are such valuable spaces and enhance the lives of all who work them, visit them or dwell in them (human and non-human!). So thank you once again – your efforts and generosity in opening up your gardens to share with the community are much appreciated."
"Although strictly speaking not residents, I asked permission for my nephew and his family to join in the garden viewing.
They were absolutely bowled over by their reception. The owners were, without exception, most welcoming, with many offers of refreshments and even a loo was available, had we required one.
We learnt many new and interesting facts about the area and the youngest member of our group (aged 10) met several sociable cats, which really made her day!
Altogether, it was a quite splendid afternoon, during which we enjoyed gardens both large and small, all brought to a state of perfection by their owners. My nephew’s comment of, ‘What a lovely community you have,’ really sums up what it was all about."
Sunday 26th June was a gloriously sunny afternoon and a good time was had by all. Worth doing again!
The complete list of those who opened their gardens is published in the June 2005 issue of 'The Round Hill Reporter'.