An Openers Story
I wouldn’t have missed a minute of it!
To open my garden to the public and to raise money for charities here in France, my dream come true.
The reality of uncertainty, excitement and “Oh! What if it’s not good enough”, I remember oh so well. As each year passes my confidence grows just like the garden, nothing is static. Weeds grow prolifically, sometimes trees, shrubs and plants die as does my excuse for a lawn in times of drought but this does not matter, as I now know.
In June 2014 I opened for a weekend organised by Open Garden/Jardins Ouverts. To be honest I was very surprised that the garden was accepted to open under the scheme but very happy and scared. “What if no one came? What if the garden was damaged somehow? What if, what if, what if………..?
Although tiring, as I had to have the garden ‘perfect’ just as the refreshments and plant on sale had to be. The whole experience was elating.
Our visitors loved the garden and asked many questions, there was no damage of course and money was raised for the charities despite the rain! You see there’s no perfect however hard you try.
I’ve learnt to set my opening date and work to it. It helps if your garden has a particular growing/blooming season of interest. Not every garden peeks in spring, autumn is glorious, winter offers structure, then there’s the spring bulbs. The possibility of making an event is exciting and we have enjoyed several events in February.
The team will aid you in promoting such an event.
Should the weather or life hinder your preparation to open do not despair, your visitors will understand and are curious about how you deal with it. I laugh a lot!
So now in the tenth year of opening I continue to welcome visitors to the garden, enjoying their ‘like minded’ company. To my husband and I, the garden may not be so ‘perfect’ as we had first demanded but no one else seems to notice! Visitors enjoy what they see, we share experiences and have made friends through the Open Garden/Jardins Ouvert association.
If you have any doubts about opening your garden please just talk to a member of the team. I wouldn’t have missed a minute of it or the bonus of hearing how the children benefit from the funds raised.